The House voted today to avert the latest showdown over the federal budget, passing a short-term continuing resolution that will keep the government funded until Nov. 18.
The spending bill passed 352-66 and gives Congress additional time to finish work on the fiscal 2012 appropriations process. The 2012 fiscal year began on Saturday, but Congress, as has become habit, did not finish its work on time and has had to revert to the familiar process of funding the government using short-term spending bills.
Of the 12 appropriations bills, the House has passed six and the Senate has passed one. The Senate passed the six-week CR last week; it now heads to the president's desk for signature.
Approval of the CR, which also provides $2.6 billion for Federal Emergency Management Agency disaster relief spending with no offsets, comes after weeks of negotiating between the House and Senate. Republicans had charged that emergency spending should be offset, while Democrats dug in their heels over spending cuts and called for more money to be sent to FEMA to deal with the aftermath of Hurricane Irene, as well as other disasters earlier this year, ranging from tornado damage in the Midwest to wildfires in Texas.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.