Congress sends Obama stopgap funding bill

14:00, March 18, 2011      

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The U.S. Senate on Thursday passed a stopgap spending bill previously passed by the House of Representatives, sending it to President Barack Obama before the Congress adjourns for a week-long recess, avoiding an ugly government shutdown.

The Senate approved the spending bill in an 87-13 vote, giving White House and congressional Republicans and Democrats three more weeks to reach a long-term deal for the rest of the fiscal year. The House passed the bill Tuesday.

The legislation funds the government for three more weeks, similar to a vote earlier this month that funded the government for two weeks. The new bill incorporates a 6 billion dollar spending cuts supported by both the White House and Democrats.

The White House said in a statement that the short-term funding bill avoids a government shutdown and gives Congress the time to find common ground on a measure for the rest of the fiscal year.

However, the statement said "continuing to fund our government in two or three week increments adds uncertainty to our economy and distracts us from other urgent priorities facing our nation." It urged Democrats and Republicans to "come together and find a long-term solution that cuts spending without impeding our ability to win the future."

The federal government was funded by stopgap bills since the beginning of the current fiscal year last October. The new measure keeps the government funded through April 8. If the two sides do not reach a deal by then, the government would face a shutdown.

Source: Xinhua

 
 
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