Washington – President Obama signed a stopgap spending bill Wednesday to avert a government shutdown, the White House announced late last night. The president put his signature on the measure, which funds federal agencies through Dec. 11, just hours before a midnight deadline to keep the government open.
So the House and the Senate passed a continuing resolution that will fund the country until Dec. 11th when they will have to do it again. A shutdown was averted despite threats from some conservatives to shutdown the government over the funding of Planned Parenthood.
First it was the Senate that approved the legislation Wednesday in a 78-20 vote, with all 20 “no” votes in the Senate coming from Republicans, though Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), both running for president, missed the vote.
Next up was the House where with the help of Democrats all voting in favor of the continuing resolution and it passed 277-151. More Republicans voted against the spending bill than in favor of it, however.
Republicans objected to the inclusion of money for Planned Parenthood in the measure, leading 151 GOP lawmakers to vote against the bill, compared to only 91 who supported it.
The bill is intended to buy more time for Obama, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and the next Speaker to reach a comprehensive, long-term budget pact.
In Washington nothing is as easy as it looks so crafting a new budget will not be easy. There are plenty more obstacles stand in the way of a comprehensive budget deal this winter. Obama and Democrats are seeking to lift caps on domestic and defense spending put in place by the 2011 Budget Control Act.
While some Republicans have expressed interest in raising Pentagon spending, the party is almost unanimously opposed to boosting funding for domestic programs.