WASHINGTON – The top Republican and Democrat on Capitol Hill announced an agreement Tuesday to keep the government running on autopilot for six months when the current budget year ends Sept. 30.
The announcements by Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and GOP House Speaker John Boehner are aimed at averting any chance of a government shutdown this fall.
The deal would also lighten the crush of business in a post-election congressional session agenda thats already overloaded.
The speaker and I and the president have agreed that were going to fund the government for the next six months, Reid said. Itll provide stability for the coming months.
The agreement would fund the government at levels called for by last summers budget and debt pact between Boehner and President Obama.
While precise details will be ironed out over the August congressional recess, the deal embraces spending at a total annualized rate of $1.047 trillion for the day-to-day operations of Cabinet departments and other federal agencies.
Sen. Dan Coats, R-Ind., said in a statement, It is unfortunate the Senate majority leader refused to allow regular order and debate on individual appropriations bills, which could have led to additional savings for the taxpayer.
But Coats said the extension would avert both spending increases and a possible government shutdown for six months, allowing Congress to focus on the critical looming fiscal cliff and tax hikes approaching at the end of the year.