Leaders of Congress reach deal to fund government, avoid shutdown showdown
July 31st, 2012
02:17 PM ET
2 years ago

Leaders of Congress reach deal to fund government, avoid shutdown showdown

(CNN) - Congressional leaders announced a deal Tuesday on a six-month bill to fund the federal government, thereby removing the possibility of a government shutdown - and the political spectacle that would go with it - before the election.

"It will provide stability for the coming months," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, told reporters. "It will be free of riders. This is very good because we can resolve these critical issues that directly affect the country as soon as the election is over and move on to do good things."

– Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

"Leader Reid and I have reached an agreement by which the House and Senate will approve a six-month continuing resolution in September to keep the government operating into next year," House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said in a statement. "During the August district work period, committee members and their staff will write legislation that can be passed by the House and Senate in September and sent to President Obama to be signed into law."

Current funding for federal agencies is due to expire at the end of September.

Tuesday's announced deal, on what is known as a continuing resolution, would continue funding through March 2013, two months after the presidential inauguration, giving both parties time to avoid another messy spending fight.

"I think it's the right thing to do," Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, told CNN before the announcement. "Thank God we're not going through another threatened government shutdown from the Republicans."

Several members of the conservative Republican Study Committee, who had previously pushed for a lower spending level in spending bills, reversed course in the last couple of weeks and told House GOP leaders they could support a six-month measure at the spending level agreed to in last summer's debt deal.

That level - $1.047 trillion - had been a key point for Senate Democrats who insisted that it not drop below that level.

Some conservatives believe that if Republicans win the White House and take control of the Senate in November, they can get bigger spending cuts and policy changes in next year's government funding bills.

Not all House Republicans support the move. Some GOP aides believe that removing the pressure to reach an agreement on spending at the end of the year - the same time Congress needs to deal with the expiration of tax cuts and automatic spending cuts - could mean giving up a key bargaining chip in negotiations with the Democratic-led Senate.

Lawmakers from both parties complain when Congress drops the regular appropriations process, which adds scrutiny to the spending of tax dollars. But continuing resolutions have become a reality in recent years as partisanship has prevented the type of compromise needed to pass appropriations bills.

"This is not our preference," Jennifer Hing, a spokeswoman for the House Appropriations Committee, told CNN. "The chairman believes we should do our work in regular order. It's the responsibility to do the fiscal and budget work of the Congress every year."

– Check out the CNN Electoral Map and Calculator and game out your own strategy for November.


Filed under: Budget • Congress
soundoff (52 Responses)
  1. Sniffit

    Fiscal 2009 – the last of George W. Bush’s presidency – federal spending rose by 17.9% from $2.98 trillion to $3.52 trillion.
    Fiscal 2010 – the first budget under Obama – spending fell 1.8% to $3.46 trillion.
    Fiscal 2011, spending rose 4.3% to $3.60 trillion.
    Fiscal 2012, spending is set to rise 0.7% to $3.63 trillion.
    Fiscal 2013 – the final budget of Obama’s term – spending is scheduled to fall 1.3% to $3.58 trillion.
    Overall rise from $3.52 trillion to $3.58 trillion over 4 years = annualized increase of 0.4%.

    THE NUMBERS DON'T LIE. Obama has increased spending less than any POTUS since EISENHOWER.

    July 31, 2012 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  2. California

    FACT: Hussein Obama, the $5.25 Trillioon debt man.

    July 31, 2012 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  3. California

    Numbers don't lie but democrats/liberals do all the time.

    July 31, 2012 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  4. California

    Hussein Obama has in fact surpassed what Bush added to the debt in less than half the time.

    CONGRATS DEMS!!!

    July 31, 2012 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  5. California

    Since 2007 who was in charge of the House and Senate??? Hint it wasn't the Republicans.

    July 31, 2012 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  6. Mikey

    @California – As soon as you refer to the President as "Hussein Obama" you show what kind of human being you are and no decent people will want to follow your lead. Please keep posting that way.

    July 31, 2012 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  7. IF YOU SIGNED GROVER'S PLEDGE, YOU ARE A TRAITOR TO THE U.S.

    How can we expect to trust republicans when they're currently trying to back out of deal that they signed off on? Dems and repukes voted for sequestration if they weren't able to make a deal. They'll do anything to prevent those defense budget cuts. So if they want to hold middle-class tax cuts hostage, fine! A tune of $500 billion in defense cuts on 1/1/13...chop chop. Do your dam job. The last time you bums were in this predicament, you cost us our AAA credit rating. No more Mr. Nice Guy.

    July 31, 2012 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  8. Susan NO LONGER a REPUBLICAN

    Oh, poor cry baby repubs. Can't face the facts, huh?

    July 31, 2012 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  9. California

    Hussein, Thought you were cutting the deficit in half. Guess not. Thanks for lying yet again Hussein Obama.

    July 31, 2012 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  10. rs

    The GOP simply needs to decide America and Americans first, party second. Until they do that, they're no better than the Taliban. Maybe we need to treat them as if they were the Taliban.

    July 31, 2012 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  11. RandyKC

    Thank God we're not going to have another Tea Party engineered economic disaster this year. What does it say about us when that feels like an accomplishment?

    July 31, 2012 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  12. rs

    California- Every year Republicans whiff on the Temporary tax cuts for the richest 1%-$1 trillion in deficit spending. We can't affor to pander to the rch anymore.

    July 31, 2012 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  13. Jim

    Congress reaching a compromise? Nonsense. They haven't managed to pass a budget in 4, or is it 5, years. Why would anyone believe that this worthless Congress would manage to pass anything of substance? If we outsourced Congress, filling all their seats with great apes, it would cost less and make C-SPAN more entertaining. And it couldn't be any worse than what we have now.

    July 31, 2012 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  14. Patriot Awesome

    I'll believe it when I see it.

    July 31, 2012 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  15. California

    Mikey – Dems use Willard all the time. No difference. Whine all you want libby.

    Continue your War on America. You have already failed.

    July 31, 2012 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  16. "If you've got a business, you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen." --B. Obama

    Is the uhbama working today or playing golf?

    July 31, 2012 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  17. Jesus Christ Superstar

    California
    Hussein, Thought you were cutting the deficit in half. Guess not. Thanks for lying yet again Hussein Obama.

    Actually, President Obama never claimed he was going to do that, but instead of researching and getting the facts, just shout your talking points, and support Romney who will no doubt make the economy worse.

    July 31, 2012 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  18. Sniffit

    "Mikey – Dems use Willard all the time. No difference. Whine all you want libby."

    And what, pray tell, are the obvious racist dogwhistle overtones to calling Mittens "Willard"?

    July 31, 2012 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  19. California Gary

    So the GOP is willing to work with the Dems on extending the funding this time........because they fear the political blowback so close to an election no doubt......not because it's the right thing to do for the country. Real patriots those guys.

    July 31, 2012 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  20. Jesus Christ Superstar

    California
    Mikey – Dems use Willard all the time. No difference. Whine all you want libby.

    Continue your War on America. You have already failed.

    Who's at war on America? Do you even live in reality? Or do you just do whatever Rush, Beck and Hannity tell you?

    July 31, 2012 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  21. Rudy NYC

    California wrote

    Since 2007 who was in charge of the House and Senate??? Hint it wasn't the Republicans.
    ...Thought you were cutting the deficit in half. Guess not. Thanks for lying yet again [deleted] Obama..
    -----------------
    Why didn't Bush veto the spending measures? Because his VP was whispering in his ear, "Deficits don't matter, George."

    That promise and more were made prior to the global economic crisis. Once that occurred, all bets were off. The promise was made about a robust economy with a $600 billion annual deficit, not the broken economic ruin with a $1.5 trillion deficit that was handed to him.

    July 31, 2012 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  22. SalinasPhil

    Don't hold your breath... It won't happen. Too many Republicans won't vote for it. They'd rather see the economy go into the toilet so they can increase their chances in the election.

    July 31, 2012 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  23. Sniffit

    "Hussein Obama has in fact surpassed what Bush added to the debt in less than half the time."

    Newsflash: Bush has still been adding to the debt for the past 4 years via the Bush tax cuts, Medicare Part D, two wars he started and kept off the books and the abysmal unemployment rate the GOP's policies created before Obama even took office.

    July 31, 2012 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  24. California Gary

    Well Jim.......I like your idea about outsourcing Congress. If Romney gets in there, it will probably be one of the first things he does (he does have some history with this sort of thing). I expect he'll get tax cuts passed for himself and his friends, then outsource Congress, then retire retro-actively and continue drawing his salary while the country tries to figure out how to replace him. Then he and his dancing horse will ride off into the sunset.......

    July 31, 2012 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  25. Sniffit

    "Since 2007 who was in charge of the House and Senate??? Hint it wasn't the Republicans."

    Newsflash: The recession was already predictged and impending as a result of the GOP policies that had been in place for several years prior to 2007. Moreover, once the DEms took congress, the GOP prevented them from doing anything whatsoever by setting records for the unmber of filibusters and with Bush vetoing anything that moved. They've gone on to continue breaking those very same records, completely obstructing any progress on budgetary issues and the economy.

    July 31, 2012 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
1 2 3