Tempers Flare as Budget Deadline Looms

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The deadline is quickly approaching for lawmakers to pass a bill to fund the federal government. It appears that the shutdown that both Democrats and Republicans have sworn to avoid is possible - if not probable.

The legislation in question is intended to fund the day-to-day operating budgets of federal agencies - including military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan - through the Sept. 30 end of the budget year.

Lawmakers have until April 8 to reach an agreement.

Republicans say the White House and Senate Democrats have been slow in offering spending cuts.

On Friday, Republicans criticized Democrats for not presenting significant cuts. An offer a few days earlier had ponied up just another $10 billion or so, GOP officials said, which prompted House Majority Leader Eric Cantor to accuse Democrats of "negotiating off of the status quo and refusing to offer any sort of serious plan for how to cut spending."

Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., accused Republicans of blowing up an agreement that would have given Republicans more than half of the $ 60 billion in budget reductions they wanted.

"After days of positive negotiations, with significant flexibility shown by the speaker, the House Republican leadership is back to agonizing over whether to give in to right-wing demands that they abandon any compromise on their extreme cuts," Schumer said.

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