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."

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"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."

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

    Well see, If the Taxes are for the middle class and not for the wealthy then you better know the GOP is running scared from being voted out of office this November.

    July 31, 2012 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  2. Padraig

    Sniffet, what are you sniffing. There hasn't been any budgets under Obama but only extensions from the last one which was from Bush. So get your head out of the dark crevice it is lodged in.

    July 31, 2012 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  3. Sniffit

    ""If you've got a business, you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen." –B. Obama"

    "I'm going to eat your children and then poop them in my flower garden as fertilizer." – M. Romney

    I mean, as long as we're playing the out-of-context game, I figured we might as well just do it to the extreme, right? Mittens has, at some opint in his life, said every single word I put in that statement. So what if I cobbled it together and put them all out of context? He still said it.

    July 31, 2012 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  4. ContraryMerry

    Please.....for the sake of the people, just do it. Argue about it later.

    July 31, 2012 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  5. 98 Days until Obama is THROWN OUT

    Yes, pass this temporary measure. Then after Obama gets the boot and Republicans are running both the House and Senate, we'll be able to get this country back on a solid financial footing. It'll take some time, but it has to be started.

    Obama and the Democrats have no intention of doing anything fiscally responsible. All they want to do is take more and more and more and more, just like their union buddies. Unions bankrupt companie slike GM and Democrats will bankrupt the COUNTRY, just like their leftist clones in Europe have done.

    July 31, 2012 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  6. California

    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"?

    ------------–
    Nothing racist about using someones name unless you're a democrat that is.

    July 31, 2012 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  7. TEAPARTY MIKE

    @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.
    --–
    That 17.9% increase in spending was a budget written and passed by House and Senate Democrats in 2009, after Obama took office, and signed into law by Obama. Bush had nothing to do with it.
    In 2008 Bush submitted a budget for the 2008-2009 fiscal year that increased spending by 3%. Democrats wanted the 17% increase. Bush said he would veto it. Democrats sensed Obama was going to win and decided to wait until 2009 to pass the only budget that has been passed under Obama. Democrats wrote it and their votes passed it, Obama signed it, Republicans voted against it and Bush had nothing to do with it. Obama owns it and everyone knows it. Fact!

    July 31, 2012 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  8. Sniffit

    "@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.
    ––
    That 17.9% increase in spending was a budget written and passed by House and Senate Democrats in 2009, after Obama took office, and signed into law by Obama. Bush had nothing to do with it.
    In 2008 Bush submitted a budget for the 2008-2009 fiscal year that increased spending by 3%. Democrats wanted the 17% increase. Bush said he would veto it. Democrats sensed Obama was going to win and decided to wait until 2009 to pass the only budget that has been passed under Obama. Democrats wrote it and their votes passed it, Obama signed it, Republicans voted against it and Bush had nothing to do with it. Obama owns it and everyone knows it. Fact!"

    Actually, it's atributable to Bush because the big increase is mostly attributable to the fact that the wars and TARP were being accoutned for, which is something Bush and the GOP didn't do...for obvious reasons. Nice try though.

    July 31, 2012 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  9. Sniffit

    "Sniffet, what are you sniffing. There hasn't been any budgets under Obama but only extensions from the last one which was from Bush. So get your head out of the dark crevice it is lodged in."

    The numbers cited are the amounts spent or predicted to be spent. Whether it's in a budget or not is immaterial to the analysis of how much spending increased. Smell that? Smell it? Mmmmmmmmm....fresh ground truth....

    July 31, 2012 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  10. Rudy NYC

    Padraig

    Sniffet, what are you sniffing. There hasn't been any budgets under Obama but only extensions from the last one which was from Bush. So get your head out of the dark crevice it is lodged in
    ------------–
    Ronald Reagan had 18 of the so called continuing resolutions. They use them when Congress cannot agree on passing the President's budget, which he is required by law to submit to the Congress. Trust me, he submitted them. Had he not, I can guarantee you that Rep. Issa would have Pres. Obama up for impeachment.

    July 31, 2012 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  11. king

    the worst congress ever in the history of america, finally wants to do somthing. they kick and screamed for the last first years, and obstruct as much as possible to make mcconelly prediction of a one term president come through. this congress have shamed us in the sight of the whole world. it is a pitty that the most trying time of our generation this congress led by the obstructionist repub party dilerberately tried to crash our country beacause of politics. if we werent the most powerful country on this planet we would have been laughed at to scorn. this congress will go down in the record book.

    July 31, 2012 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  12. ghostriter

    Remarkable. They've agreed to not argue about this for another 6 months. I'm sure republicans will use that time to hold an investigation to discover if there is anything they can find to hold an investigation on. Hearing to discover what additional hearings on said investigations will soon follow.

    July 31, 2012 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  13. Wake up people

    Wouldn't want to look bad in front of the very people that put you useless pieces of fecal matter in office do you? Pathetic. Too bad you weren't this agreeable last year, prior to the nations credit standing being lowered. But don't worry rethugs, intelligent people know the truth.

    OBAMA 2012!

    July 31, 2012 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  14. Larry L

    @98 Days until Obama is THROWN OUT

    Yes, pass this temporary measure. Then after Obama gets the boot and Republicans are running both the House and Senate, we'll be able to get this country back on a solid financial footing. It'll take some time, but it has to be started.
    --------------------------------------------------
    The last time Republicans had control they trashed our economy. If Republicans ran the House and the Senate the middle class would soon disappear, Social Security and Medicare would be handed over to Wall Street, and we'd soon be in yet another war. I'm aware Fox News has provided you with an alternative-reality regarding each of those issues and you really don't want to face the truth. Interesting you add the comment "It'll take some time". You folks were expecting President Obama to fix your mess immediately – even as Republicans obstructed all progress. This isn't patriotism you're showing... it's hate-based delusion.

    July 31, 2012 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  15. 98 Days until Obama is THROWN OUT

    Sniffit – Newsflash: Bush has still been adding to the debt for the past 4 years via the Bush tax cuts,
    =======================================================================
    Interesting.... Obama signed them into law and the Democrats voted for them too yet this is Bush's tax cut??? Why do Democrats run for office if they won't take responsibility for their actions? These are now the OBAMA TAX CUTS.

    Medicare Part D,
    =============
    Which the Demorcats voted FOR. Why do Democrats run for office if they won't take responsibility for their actions?

    two wars he started and kept off the books
    ===============================
    Which the Demorcats voted FOR. Why do Democrats run for office if they won't take responsibility for their actions?

    >and the abysmal unemployment rate the GOP's policies created before Obama even took office
    Which the Democrats Homes for People that Can't Afford them caused. And Obama knew what he running for and claimed he could fix it WHICH HE HAS NOT.

    AGAIN... Why do Democrats run for office if they won't take responsibility for their actions?

    Nothing but excuses, finger pointing and blaming others for FOUR YEARS. ENOUGH!!! Time for REAL change.

    July 31, 2012 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  16. ghostriter

    tea party mike,

    One such tactic they’re using these days is to blame Obama for some of the massive increases in federal spending that occurred during the eight years of Bush’s two terms. A Google search for “federal spending under Obama” and related terms yields a wide variety of articles and media stories (largely from Foxnews) blaming Obama for the massive spending increases that occurred during the 2009 fiscal year.

    This is very clever of course, since few people out in the public understand how federal budgeting works, but the fact is that the spending that occurred during the 2009 fiscal year is almost totally the result of appropriations bills signed by George W. Bush during the 2008 calendar year. By shifting Bush’s 2009 spending to Obama, one can then understate the amount of federal spending authorized by Bush while inflating the spending authorized by Obama. This then helps perpetuate the myth that one party is more “responsible” with taxpayer funds than the other party.

    July 31, 2012 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  17. Rudy NYC

    TEAPARTY MIKE wrote:

    ....In 2008 Bush submitted a budget for the 2008-2009 fiscal year that increased spending by 3%. Democrats wanted the 17% increase. Bush said he would veto it....
    ------------------–
    The budget that Bush signed into law contained a $700 billion TARP bailout. That's your increase. Most of the Stimulus package the The People called for, "you helped Wall Street, what about Main Street", didn't kick in until 2010 because most of it was in the form of tax cuts on 2009 income. Most of the rest went to states, many of which used them for state tax cuts on 2009 income.

    July 31, 2012 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  18. RealityBites

    How did America survive sooo long without such a massive federal government?
    How can America continue to survive while adding massive debt from a massive federal government??

    July 31, 2012 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  19. Martha in CF

    I'll believe when I hear it with my ears and read about it with my eyes!!!!!!!!!

    July 31, 2012 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  20. Sniffit

    Queue last minute GOP/Teatroll hissy fit and pulling out of negotiations...

    July 31, 2012 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  21. 98 Days until Obama is THROWN OUT

    RealityBites
    How did America survive sooo long without such a massive federal government?
    ==========================================================
    It wasn't always massive. It started out as 6% of GDP. Now it is over 20%

    How can America continue to survive while adding massive debt from a massive federal government??
    ==========================================================================
    By taking more and more and more and more of your hard earnered tax dollars so it can tell you how to live your lives and promise to take care of you and everything because you are all just too dumb (according to Democrat 'progressives") . Ultimately we will all work (those that are dumb enough to) for the state as the tax rates climb and climb and climb.
    I mean, can't you see how all of this works so well all around the world? Here let me list the socialist utopias for you....NONE.

    July 31, 2012 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  22. Sniffit

    "Why do Democrats run for office if they won't take responsibility for their actions?"

    And every time you say this, we can simply point to the obstruction, filibuster records, secret holds on nominees, manufactured crises like the debt debacle and gov't shutdown threats...ALL BROUGHT TO US BY THE GOP/TEATROLLS TRYING TO MAKE OBAMA A ONE TERM PRESIDENT.

    When people vote for a war based on the lies todl to them, I blame the liar.
    When people force tax cuts that they promised were temporary to be extended by holding several other important bill hostage, I blame the hostage takers.
    And as for "Homes for People that Can't Afford Them" goes...that's not what caused the massive collapse. Had Wall Street financial firms not played all sorts of very dangerous games with mortgage-backed securities trying to spin straw into gold, then none of it would have been as bad as it got. When an arsonist steals the woodcutter's kindling and starts a forest fire, I blame the arsonist for setting the fire, not the woodcutter for cutting the kindling.

    July 31, 2012 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  23. Sniffit

    "How did America survive sooo long without such a massive federal government?"

    Fun with paraphrasing: 'OMG THE WORLD IS NOW DIFFERENT THAN IT WAS IN THE 18th CENTURY...I'M SO ANGRY AND FRIGHTENED BY THIS THAT I JUST FILLED MY PANTS!!!!"

    July 31, 2012 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  24. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Thye'll pass it because President Obama and Former President Bill Clinton are going to eat the Republicans for lunch as Bill is the keynote Speaker at the Democrat Convention, they'll pass it. You betcha, because they are running scared.

    July 31, 2012 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  25. Namejkane fl SEND THE THREE TIME LOSER romney HOME AND MAKE IT FOUR.

    The whole Gop bafoons party is going to have shop train wreck in Nov with romney the wimp driving and BACHMANN carrying up the rear !!!!

    July 31, 2012 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
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