Congress passes continuing resolution, avoids another shutdown threat
November 17th, 2011
05:06 PM ET
2 years ago

Congress passes continuing resolution, avoids another shutdown threat

Washington, D.C. (CNN) - Congress passed a temporary spending measure on Thursday that will keep the federal government funded and open for business until December 16. The continuing resolution was necessary because the federal government is set to run out of money by midnight Friday.

The House passed the measure by a vote of 298-121 Thursday afternoon, and the Senate followed suit Thursday evening, passing the measure 70-30.

The measure was passed as part of a larger spending bill for a number of government agencies for fiscal 2012 - including the Agriculture Department, the Food and Drug Administration, the Transportation Department and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, among others.

Overall spending levels in the new measure conform to the outlines of an agreement reached in Congress earlier this year.

The previous continuing resolution was enacted October 5 as part of a deal providing an additional $2.65 billion in disaster relief needed in the wake of Hurricane Irene, Tropical Storm Lee and a series of tornadoes and wildfires.

In addition to early October, partial government shutdowns were also threatened during budget talks in the spring and the debt ceiling debate over the summer.

The short-term funding measures are necessary because Congress has failed to complete its full budget appropriations process, which has become a victim of sharp partisan divisions over spending priorities.

The last extension was intended to provide more time to debate and pass spending measures covering the remainder of fiscal year 2012. It's been over 15 years, however, since both chambers of Congress passed the full range of such bills.

Instead, Congress has relied on other ways to extend spending authority, such as continuing resolutions or so-called "omnibus" measures that bundle together multiple appropriations bills.

– CNN's Alan Silverleib contributed to this report.


Filed under: Congress
soundoff (52 Responses)
  1. diridi

    This is time for spending on Infrastructure, Public Transportation, Energy etc, not worry on deficit...o.k,

    November 17, 2011 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  2. caconserv

    No budget means constant continuing resolutions. If the republicans do not want to help the nation why don't they hold out to get a real budget.

    November 17, 2011 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  3. Beau

    unbelievable! Congress took more days off on vacation than doing their jobs. The only time they are working if money throw into their pockets or the deadline is getting close. Congress and Wall Streets are like marriage.

    November 17, 2011 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  4. Adam

    With them not passing a budget, it makes the federal employees have to worry about not having a job. Every month I continue to worry about having a job.

    November 17, 2011 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  5. BK

    And when that date arrives there will be another 'temporary' resolution because these bickering children are incapable of getting anything done.

    November 17, 2011 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  6. wendco2003

    They should not be allowed to keep voting for these extensions. They do not do any good and only seem to put them further behind. Why is it that the only thing both parties can seem to agree on is that they should have all the time in the world to complete the they were hired for? If I pulled that with my job, I wouldn't have one.

    November 17, 2011 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  7. GEEP10

    Obama should veto this temporary spending bill and tell congress to do thier job and pass a long term bill!! If they
    will not do thier job, then we can replace them and find someone who will do the job they were elected to do!!

    November 17, 2011 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  8. Dan5404

    As long as the Republicans want draconian cuts in important programs and elimination of government agencies as a trade for passing reasonable legislation, there will be no real solution. Not until they are seriously outnumbered. That will come in November 2012.

    November 17, 2011 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  9. Greed is Good

    The Government should be worrying only about price stability right now.

    Inflation is at 3% for the last year. That is unacceptable.

    Cut spending, and redo the Federal Reserve's mandate so that their only concern is price stability.

    November 17, 2011 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  10. Dom

    it's ridiculous that these elected officials can't do their jobs

    November 17, 2011 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  11. Matt

    I know – let's pass a law that Congress doesn't get paid unless they do their job in a timely manner!

    November 17, 2011 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  12. Not fooled

    Looks like they learned their lesson with the debt ceiling debacle in August. Let's hope.

    November 17, 2011 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  13. Tom

    I like the idea of cleaning house and starting over. I wonder if there is a Federal form of the Referendum that the states have?

    November 17, 2011 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  14. Larry L

    The Republicans tend to gain points with their voters by supporting initiatives to destroy the American infrastructure and reduce our stature in the world arena. Can the Congress actually do anything? It's time for large-scale recall elections for every obsturctionist in Congress. Start with Speaker Boehner.

    November 17, 2011 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  15. Q

    Time to elect some moderates. Time to get rid of anyone that says that anything is off the table. Time to get rid of anyone that has signed a "pledge" of any kind.

    November 17, 2011 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  16. Gsch

    They are just nursing things along and waiting for the presidental elections. They could care less about the average americans. Its lobbyist and the rich 1 percent who are ruining the country-its disgusting.

    November 17, 2011 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  17. 66Biker

    If you or I failed to do our jobs, we would be fired for it. What do you think the chances are of that happening to Congress after they have repeatedly failed to do their jobs? Virtually none...

    November 17, 2011 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm |
  18. tallulah13

    I suspect they came to an agreement because they think that by December 16, all the Occupy protesters will have faded back into obscurity and people will pay attention to their political grandstanding again.

    November 17, 2011 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  19. Interaction

    We would not be in this economic situation if I could vote myself more money when I ran out.

    November 17, 2011 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  20. GI Joe

    Maybe we should threaten to hold their pay until they pass a jobs bill that will put citizens back to work. Oh wait. they would starve to death.

    November 17, 2011 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
  21. BK, Wv

    Getting close to Thanksgiving Break...More Important?

    November 17, 2011 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm |
  22. Terry P

    Congress is absolutely worthless.

    November 17, 2011 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |
  23. Dee

    so Congress did something right for once..

    November 17, 2011 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
  24. miles

    What happened to congressmen having guts and a sense of responsibility to accomplish somthing difficult? It seems that procrastination and doing only the bare minimum are the name of the game now...

    November 17, 2011 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
  25. Burt

    They need to not provide any funding for the Department of Energy, Education, and, well, what is that third one, oh crap its on the tip of my tongue, great gobs of gopher gravy anyone out there know what other department I would shut down..

    Oh yes, it commerce, I knew I would think of it.

    November 17, 2011 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |
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