Deal Averts Government Shutdown

Congress forges $1T spending deal
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 15, 2011 11:31 PM CST
Updated Dec 16, 2011 12:23 AM CST
With a spending deal reached, Harry Reid may get to go home for Christmas.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

(Newser) – The spirit of Christmas, or at least the spirit of competence, appears to have reached Capitol Hill. Lawmakers have set aside their differences to forge a $1 trillion spending bill for federal agencies that will avert a government shutdown this weekend, the Washington Post reports. The bill—heralded by a break in hostilities—is expected to hit the House and Senate floors today. Lawmakers are also said to be making progress toward a payroll tax cut deal.

In the spending bill, the White House won concessions, including funding for financial industry oversight and the axing of a plan to reinstate Bush-era travel restrictions to Cuba, Politico reports. The bill cuts $233 million from Environmental Protection Agency funding, and slices funding for Obama's Race to the Top public school program by 21% to $550 million. Pentagon funding will rise by $5.1 billion. (Read more spending bill stories.)

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