U.S. House passes another three-week spending bill

08:37, March 16, 2011      

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U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday passed yet another stop gap appropriation bill that will fund the federal government for another three weeks while lawmakers and the White House try to find common ground on a long- term measure to fund the government for the rest of the fiscal year.

The bill passed the House with a 271-158 vote. The bill incorporates 6 billion dollars in budget cuts, but provides the government with enough money for another three weeks. The cuts were basically programs Democrats are willing to sacrifice.

The bill now goes to the Senate, which is expected to pass it, avoiding a March 18 government shutdown.

In a statement, the White House said the bill gave Congress " some breathing room to find consensus on a long-term measure that funds the government through the end of the fiscal year."

"The President urges the Senate to pass this bill to avoid a government shutdown that would be harmful to our economic recovery, " said the statement, noting the nation cannot keep funding the government in two or three week increments.

The government was funded by stopgap bills since the beginning of the current fiscal year last October. The current stopgap funding measure expires on March 18. If no measure was taken or no new stop gap bill was approved, the federal government is faced with an ugly shutdown.

However, negotiations on a longer term deal haven't made much headway lately. The White House said "it is time for us to come together, find common ground and resolve this issue in a sensible way."

Source: Xinhua

 
 
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