Congress avoids shutdown

30 Sep 15

UNITED STATES

Congressional leaders avoided a government shutdown Wednesday after both the Senate and House of Representatives voted on a spending bill that will keep the government funded through Dec. 11.

President Barack Obama has said he will sign the legislation. The government faced the possibility of shutting down Oct. 1 until the interim spending bill was approved.

“The bill before us would keep the government open and allow time for cooler heads to prevail,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said in a statement before the vote.

The stopgap measure funds government at current levels through Dec. 11. While the bill averts a shutdown for now, Republicans and Democrats may find themselves facing a shutdown again in December if they cannot come to terms on spending priorities. In the event of a shutdown, many government functions would be suspended, while those deemed essential or self-supporting would continue operating.

The continuing resolution extends four immigration programs that would have sunset today at midnight: the EB-5 Immigrant Investor program, E-Verify, the Special Immigrant Religious Worker program and the Conrad 30 Waiver program for foreign doctors.

BAL Analysis: Congressional approval of the stopgap spending measure eliminates the possibility of a government shutdown for the time being. However, this short-term extension could set up a difficult budget fight at the end of the year.

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