Boehner, Reid Reach Early Deal to Avert Shutdown
House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) and Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid have reached a short-term spending deal that would remove the possibility of a government shutdown from the politically sensitive fall campaign season, the two announced Tuesday.
Under the agreement, Congress would agree to fund the government for six months when the fiscal year expires Sept. 30, setting agency spending for the year at $1.047 trillion.
If approved, the deal will ensure that the government will keep operating without fuss when the year ends, a once-routine action that has become far more difficult amid Congress’ gridlock. It was reached nearly two months early, an especially quick resolution that demonstrated that neither party savored a major budget showdown weeks before the November elections.
Reid said the deal would provide the government stability in coming months and allow Congress to quickly turn to other pressing fiscal issues after the election.
“It puts this out of the way, and that’s very important,” he said, indicating that President Obama has signed off as well.
Democrats and the White House have insisted for months on the $1.047 trillion level — a spending cap agreed to by both parties in last summer’s deal to raise the nation’s debt ceiling.
But some conservatives have chaffed, viewing the number as a maximum spending level and insisting that Congress should push actual spending for the year even lower. A budget for the full year outlined by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) set agency spending at $1.028 trillion for the year.