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Congress: Cantor says 'time is up'

“The number 2 Republican in the House said yesterday that the chamber will not pass another short-term federal funding bill to avert a government shutdown if talks between the GOP and the White House fail to produce a 2011 spending agreement by an April 8 deadline,” the Boston Globe writes. “Representative Eric Cantor of Virginia, the majority leader, said ‘time is up’ and that it is up to Democrats controlling the White House and the Senate to offer more significant spending cuts as part of legislation to fund the government for the rest of the budget year. ‘We’re going to need to see a deal struck where our members can go home and tell their constituents that we’re doing what we said we would do,’ Cantor said.”

“While most of Capitol Hill is focused on the partisan showdown over federal spending, House Democrats are embroiled in a separate battle: whether to produce an alternative to the GOP budget,” Roll Call writes, adding: “Democratic leaders are particularly sensitive about putting forth a budget this year since Republicans hammered them for months in 2010 for failing to produce one. Factions within the Democratic Caucus, meanwhile, are moving forward with plans to produce their own budget, complicating the Democratic leadership’s position even more.”

“Conservatives are turning to a new message in the escalating budget fight: A government shutdown is not actually a shutdown,” The Hill reports. “It’s a ‘slowdown,’ according to the new refrain from Tea Party leader Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.). Or as House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) put it on Monday, the stalemate over spending could cause the government ‘to partially shut down.’ … ‘Calling it New Coke didn’t make it taste better, and trying to change the name of Speaker [John] Boehner’s [R-Ohio] government shutdown won’t make it hurt middle-class families and seniors any less,’ said Jesse Ferguson, a spokesman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.”

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) says of riders de-funding Planned Parenthood and limiting the EPA, per The Hill: “We will not accept those riders. And any thought to the contrary is wrong. We believe that they don't belong in a budget bill," he added. "There can be debate on these issues. We believe they would be defeated in the Senate."

“Republicans have found a new foil in their war with the White House over the deficit and spending: Senate Democratic Conference Vice Chairman Charles Schumer,” Roll Call writes.

“Senate conservatives plan to filibuster legislation to increase the nation’s debt ceiling above $14.3 trillion, a move that will make it harder for President Obama to garner the votes he needs,” The Hill reports.

“California Democrats are trying to brand Rep. Dan Lungren with a new nickname to use in their race against the Republican in 2012: ‘Styrofoam Dan,’” Roll Call reports.

Anthony Weiner had more than $2,000 in unpaid parking tickets in DC.