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Congress approves bill to fund gov’t

U.S. Capitol
U.S. Capitol
WASHINGTON, March 21 (UPI) — The House Thursday approved a short-term funding measure that keeps the U.S. government running until the end of the fiscal year Sept. 30.

House passage of the continuing funding resolution came on a bipartisan 318-109 vote after the Senate voted 73-26 Wednesday to approve a spending measure to keep the government operating after its current stop-gap funding mechanism elapses next Wednesday.

The bill funds $984 billion in spending for six months through the end of the current fiscal year. It next goes to President Obama for his signature. The measure doesn’t reverse the $85 billion in sequestration cuts that went into effect March 1, The Hill, a Washington publication, reported.

“Passing this measure allows us to keep our focus where it belongs: replacing the president’s sequester with smarter cuts that help balance the budget, fixing our broken tax code to create jobs and increase wages, protecting priorities like Medicare and expanding opportunity for all Americans,” House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said.

Left undecided is the bigger battle over taxes and spending. The House also voted 221-207 to approve Rep. Paul Ryan’s, proposed budget that calls for cutting $5 trillion from future spending by overhauling Medicare and giving states block grants for programs for the poor.

“They are sticking to the status quo – more taxing, more spending, more borrowing,” Ryan, R-Wis., said on the House floor. “This budget recognizes that concern for the poor is not measured by how much money we spend in Washington but instead how many people we get out of poverty.”

Passage of the continuing spending resolution clears the way for members to leave Friday for a two-week spring recess, averting the threat of a government shutdown with seven days to spare.

Copyright 2013 United Press International, Inc. (UPI).

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