Government Shutdown Averted For Now

Congress late Wednesday afternoon approved a short-term spending bill to avoid a government shutdown, pushing to December the deadline to pass a budget. The Senate approved the bill, which funds the government at the same level as last year, by a vote of 78-20 on Wednesday morning. Sen. Tom Carper, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, said in a written statement after the vote that compared to a shutdown, a continuing resolution “sends the signal that sanity reigns in the Senate.” Still, he said, Congress has fallen into a habit of “crisis governing … lurching from one crisis to the next,” which hurts morale and makes the federal government less effective. The House approved the measure two minutes before 5 p.m., voting 277 to 151 to keep the government functioning until Dec. 11. Ninety-one Republicans and 186 Democrats voted in favor of the bill in the House, with 151 Republicans dissenting. Republicans had previously championed a measure that would fund the government through that date but eliminate all funding for Planned Parenthood.