The House on Tuesday evening cleared for the president a short-term funding measure for government operations into next year and, in effect, delayed contentious negotiations over spending priorities by a few months and left them for the next Congress.
The House voted, 193-165, to concur to the Senate-passed bill (HR 3082) preventing the shutdown of government programs. The current funding resolution (H J Res 105) expired at the end of the day Tuesday. President Obama said he would sign the new measure into law.
The House took up the bill hours after the Senate amended it with language to maintain fiscal 2010 funding for most programs through March 4. The Senate included millions of dollars in additional funds for a variety of federal programs, including some aimed at aiding veterans and students.
When the House took up the measure Dec. 8, it passed it with language to provide $1.09 trillion for fiscal 2011 government spending and included food safety language.
But republicans, who will take control of the House in January and have increased numbers in the Senate, refused to go along with any long-term funding measure. The food safety overhaul was rescued and moved as a separate bill (HR 2751), which the House cleared Tuesday afternoon.
As cleared, the bill would increase government spending by $1.16 billion in fiscal 2011 compared with fiscal 2010, although the government will spend less than that because the stopgap extends only to early March, not through the entire fiscal year.
It would freeze the pay of federal civilian workers for the next two years, as proposed by Obama. A similar freeze was included in the House-passed full-year continuing resolution and the Senate Democrats' proposed fiscal 2011 omnibus that was abandoned last week.
The Senate passed the bill, 79-16, with bipartisan support after Senate democrats agreed to strip out hundreds of earmarks opposed by Republicans.
Reprinted in part from CQ Today Online News