Congressional Accord Avoids US Goverment Shutdown

Posted September 26th, 2011 at 8:43 pm (UTC-5)
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The U.S. Senate has approved a compromise agreement to temporarily fund government operations and avert a shutdown when the current fiscal year ends on Friday.

In a bipartisan vote , the Democratic-controlled Senate Monday evening approved a stopgap spending measure, known as a “continuing resolution,” to keep the government operating through November 18th. The approval was expected after behind-the-scenes talks to resolve an impasse over government spending, deficits and taxes.

The Senate also approved a short-term continuing resolution to October 4. That measure now goes to the Republican-led House of Representatives, which is on recess until next week.

Last week, the Senate rejected a House-passed spending bill that would have temporarily funded the government through November 18, but would have required cuts to programs Democrats hold dear.

The budget impasse had threatened disaster relief aid for victims of hurricanes and earthquakes. But the Federal Emergency Management Agency earlier in the day announced it had sufficient funds to last until Friday.

President Barack Obama told a town hall meeting in California Monday that ideological differences in Congress are preventing the U.S. government from solving its problems. He urged Congress to act responsibly.

It is not clear what action the House will take next week. But analysts say the conflict is not likely to improve Congress' approval rating with the American public, which surveys show is at an all-time low of about 12 percent.