House approves short-term spending bill

By Reuters
Posted Dec. 1, 2010 at 2:58 p.m.

The House of Representatives on Wednesday voted to avert a federal government shutdown by extending temporary funding for another two weeks, giving Democrats time to craft a more lasting solution.

The Senate was expected to take up the measure by Friday, when funding for government operations otherwise would expire.

Though the fiscal year began on October 1, the government has been operating on last year’s budget as Congress has failed to pass the 12 bills needed to fund government operations.

The temporary funding has kept national parks open and aircraft carriers afloat, but a wide range of research grants and other new initiatives have been placed on hold.

The House voted 239 to 178 to extend the temporary funding arrangement until December 18. Only two Republicans voted for the measure.

Senate Democrats have been working to wrap all 12 of the spending bills into one comprehensive package that would total about $1.108 trillion, which is $27 billion less than President Barack Obama requested. They hope that figure will be low enough to attract enough Republican support to secure passage.

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