House Moves to Avoid Government Shutdown



Mike O'Brien
03/07/2013

House Republicans have passed legislation to keep federal agencies running and avoid a government shutdown later this month.

The legislation on Wednesday was aimed at ensuring there is funding through to September 30, the end of the budget year, while also giving the Pentagon and Veterans Affairs Department more say in the implementation of short-term spending cuts.

The bill is now moving forward to the Senate, where Democrats are in talks with Republicans on how to grant the Homeland Security Department and other domestic agencies the same type of flexibility that the Pentagon would receive over cuts.

Averting another budget crisis may pave the way for President Obama and lawmakers to resume dialogue about long-term cutting plans, the Associated Press reports.

In an extremely rare move, Mr. Obama had dinner with several Republican Senators on Wednesday night, where ideas were exchanged on more cooperation in tackling fiscal issues.

At the heart of the problem is the fierce Republican opposition to the President’s wish to seek higher taxes as an element of the deficit-cutting plan.

Much of the debate so far has been made by political rhetoric and a confrontational tone.

Mr. Obama will have an opportunity to talk to GOP leaders again next week in separate meetings on Capitol Hill. He is also meeting with House and Senate Democrats next week.

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