NPR logo House Approves Spending Bill, Putting Off Shutdown


House Approves Spending Bill, Putting Off Shutdown

The House has voted to keep the federal government running for two more weeks, passing a bill to avert a government shutdown by a 335-91 margin.

The bill, which the Senate is expected to pass as well, buys more time for legislators to work out a long-term spending bill.

Ted Robbins reports from the Capitol for Newscast:

The House resolution does include $4 billion in cuts. Republicans, who took over the House in November, say that's a start — but they are aiming for $61 billion in cuts between now and September.

Even that would just dent the massive federal debt. But Democrats say the proposed deeper cuts would endanger the economic recovery and cost jobs.

If the Senate follows suit in passing the interim measure, lawmakers will have until March 18 to agree on funding levels for the second half of the fiscal year.

Senate Democrats agreed to support the bill Tuesday afternoon. Discussing that turn of events with reporters, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said that President Obama will also play a role in the discussions.

"The president's going to get involved in this," Reid said. "He has already talked to Boehner in the last little bit.... I talked to the White House quite a few times this morning. And we're going to work on long-term funding of this government."

A spokesman for House Majority Leader John Boehner told the AP, "The speaker always appreciates the opportunity to talk with the president about working together on cutting spending and creating jobs."