With a $410 billion catchall spending bill stalled in the Senate and a midnight deadline looming, Congress rushed through stopgap legislation today to keep the government running for another five days. With most Republicans denouncing the bill as too costly and a few Democrats opposing it as well, Majority Leader Harry Reid called off a key procedural vote—just one vote short of the 60 needed to send the measure to the White House.
The measure was written mostly over the course of last year, before projected deficits quadrupled and President Obama's economic recovery bill left many of the same spending accounts swimming in cash. Initially, the bill attracted bipartisan support, but most Republicans developed sticker shock in the wake of enactment of the $787 billion economic stimulus bill. The vote is postponed until at least Tuesday.