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Congress is responsible for passing annual appropriations to fund government agencies. If Congress neglects to pass funding bills, government agencies are forced to shut down. Follow all of Federal News Radio's government shutdown coverage from the past several years.
Congress approves three-day continuing resolution
Saturday - 12/18/2010, 12:06pm EST
and Vyomika Jairam
Federal News Radio
Congressional leaders have come to an agreement for another continuing resolution, this time through March, 2011, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Sunday morning. The current CR is set to expire on Tuesday, after Congress passed a measure Friday to keep the government in business through Dec. 21.
The Senate hoped to pass an omnibus appropriations bill funding the government through the fiscal year but Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) pulled the bill late last week.
The three-day extension gives both houses time work out a longer-term funding plan. The House adjourned after passing the current CR and will reconvene Tuesday morning. A vote could be called on the budget as early as 11 a.m., GovExec reports.
Senate Republicans had been calling for a more short-term CR, initially through mid-February, so that the debate would be resumed under the new Congress, in which the Republicans have control of the House and greater influence in the Senate.
Senate Democrats had supported omnibus bill which they said would have allowed Congress to review spending levels and add or decrease funding where needed.
The White House earlier this week said it supported a year-long CR keeping funding at 2010 levels. This new CR sets up a potential showdown between the new Congress and the White House over spending.
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