Government shutdown averted, temporarily

Congress approves measure to fund agencies through March 18

Congress has approved a continuing resolution (CR) to fund the government until March 18, essentially prolonging the debate over the government’s budget for this fiscal year and temporarily staving off fears of employee furloughs resulting from a government shutdown.

The bill passed the House March 1 and the Senate passed the measure today by 91-9. The current CR expires March 4. 

Shortly after the Senate vote, the Obama administration released a statement indicating it will be more involved in upcoming deliberations on a longer-term bill.

Related story:

House passes funding through March 18

“Living with the threat of a shutdown every few weeks is not responsible, and it puts our economic progress in jeopardy,” President Barack Obama said in the statement.  “That’s why I’m calling on Democratic and Republican leaders of Congress to begin meeting immediately with the vice president, my chief of staff, and budget director so we can find common ground on a budget that makes sure we are living within our means.” 

The CR immediately slashes $4 billion in federal spending by cutting eight programs that were marked for significant cuts or termination in Obama’s fiscal 2012 budget request. Other than those programs, federal agencies would continue operating at current funding levels.

An earlier CR passed by the House last month included $61 billion in total savings, but Senate Democrats and the Obama administration widely opposed the legislation.

The short-term spending bill gives Congress roughly two weeks to come to a compromise on how to fund the government for the remainder of fiscal 2011 and avoid a government shutdown.

About the Author

Alyah Khan is a staff writer covering IT policy.

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Reader Comments

Fri, Mar 4, 2011

it isnt fair for federal employees to not get paid during a shutdown. most people live paycheck to paycheck. it wouldnt hurt congress or senators because they all have alot of money to fall back on. also, the government expects federal employees to have good credit, and with no pay, how do they expect that to happen. they need to do their jobs and avert a shutdown at all costs!!

Thu, Mar 3, 2011

If there are no approved appropriations for all of the Federal Departments and Agencies by the start of a FY the quick solution: rescind all congressional pay during any CR or period of government shutdown. Their primary job is to perform this function. Impeach current congressmen and then elect replacements that can get this job done should be another option...

Thu, Mar 3, 2011

Stupidity SHOULD be painful. No appropriation bills, no federal services, and let the fools on the hill deal with the phone calls. But as long as they keep applying band-aids like this, as far as the general public is concerned, there isn't a problem.

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