No Shutdown: House Passes Stopgap Spending Bill

Government has money through September
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 21, 2013 12:00 PM CDT
Updated Mar 21, 2013 12:04 PM CDT
No Shutdown: House Passes Stopgap Spending Bill
House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., appears before the House Rules Committee to testify on his party’s budget proposal Monday.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

The House today passed a stopgap spending bill to keep the government functioning through the end of September, sidestepping any threat of a government shutdown. The bipartisan vote in the Republican-controlled House follows approval earlier this week in the Democrat-controlled Senate and sends the measure to President Obama to be signed into law. The measure would fund the day-to-day operating budgets of every Cabinet agency through Sept. 30, provide another $87 billion to fund overseas military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, and maintain a pay freeze for federal workers. The measure, which does not reverse the sequester cuts, passed by a 318-109 vote.

Passage does not end the raging budget battles that have gripped Congress for months—it merely allows Congress to move on from the current budget year and resume the bigger battle over future spending. On that note, the House also passed its budget plan today, which promises a balanced budget by the end of a decade with spending cuts alone. But its deep cuts to programs for the poor like Medicaid and food vouchers and its promise to abolish the so-called "ObamaCare" health care program are nonstarters with Obama. (Read more government shutdown stories.)

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