Three congressmen returned to the Capitol today to vote for a continuing resolution that will keep the government funded for another four days, thus averting a shutdown when the fiscal year ends tomorrow.
The voice vote took all of 20 seconds, with the entire pro forma session lasting just five minutes from start to finish (there was a long opening prayer and Pledge of Allegiance).
The continuing resolution expires on Tuesday, when the full House will return to vote on a longer version of the spending measure. That bill, which will keep the government funded until Nov. 18, was passed by the Senate with bipartisan approval earlier this week.
The agreement — reached after a tense fight over disaster funding — sets the stage for even tenser negotiations over the full 2012 budget. The stakes are much higher for that battle — both parties have agreed to a $1.043 trillion funding limit but talks have barely begun over where cuts will be made. Both Democrats and Republicans have already started to draw lines in the sand over where they will and won’t be willing to make cuts.
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