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House budget deal held up on mandatory spending snag

The committee also voted Wednesday to zero out spending next year for an annual package of grants to nonprofit groups, community agencies, and volunteer fire companies, so they could nail down a fiscal 2018 operating budget.One senior House GOP leadership aide insisted that the conference was still on track to pull together the budget but said conservatives were the sticking point, pressing for a broader deficit reduction number than some committee chairs were comfortable signing onto.Conservatives are demanding greater cuts to benefit programs such as food stamps, but are meeting resistance from other Republicans, including Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike Conaway, R-Texas, who are balking at politically hard cuts to the program and the possibility of cuts to farm programs.The House Budget Committee canceled plans to send a budget resolution for fiscal 2018 to the floor this week, lawmakers said on Tuesday, as conservative Republicans pushed to add hundreds of billions of dollars in cuts to the spending blueprint that would take effect October 1.”We just simply don’t know how to govern”, Womack, a member of the House Budget Committee, told the Washington Post.She insisted there was a viable path to getting 218 members on board.”There was never an agreement on the $200 billion”.Among the Republicans pushing for more are the hardline conservatives in the House Freedom Caucus.But Black’s proposal for $200 billion in cuts over the coming decade from so-called mandatory programs — the portion of the budget that is basically on autopilot unless changed by new legislation — ran into opposition from both conservatives who said they weren’t big enough and moderates who think they’re too large. “That number was thrown out as an offer, it was never agreed to, and so it’s still a work in progress what we can do on the mandatory spending reductions”.The North Carolina Republican said there’s still “some back and forth” regarding the reconciliation target and how much each committee is willing to contribute toward the cuts.”We’re continuing to negotiate, trying to negotiate in good faith and not wanting to draw a line in the sand without seeing real numbers in terms of mandatory spending”, he said.Despite the snag on the budget deal, House appropriators are moving forward with their bills this week.