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Capital Beat

House Republicans support Senate Republicans on state budget front

The House Republicans think the Senate Republicans did a pretty good job with the state budget.

“We think, overall, they did an excellent job and we’re here to support them in any way we can and obviously try to convince as many House colleagues as we can, during what’ll be probably a fairly long and tedious committee of conference, to see the wisdom of what the Senate had done,” said House Minority Leader Gene Chandler, a Bartlett Republican, at a news conference today.

The full Senate, where Republicans hold a 13-11 majority, will vote Thursday on the two-year, $10.7 billion budget endorsed last week by the Senate Finance Committee. Democrats, including Gov. Maggie Hassan, have said they’re not fans of the Senate budget, which among other things doesn’t expand the Medicaid program.

In the House, Democrats hold a 218-179 majority. Chandler acknowledged today the GOP minority doesn’t have a lot of options when it comes to influencing the budget process, other than offering public support to the Senate.

Following Thursday’s vote, the House and the Senate will appoint negotiators to a committee of conference that will hammer out a final budget for the biennium that begins July 1.

(Ben Leubsdorf can be reached at 369-3307 or bleubsdorf@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @BenLeubsdorf.)

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