Congress averted a government shutdown last week by passing a new continuing resolution (CR) that funds agencies through March 18. President Obama signed the resolution into law on Wednesday.
Concerns about a shutdown had increased when the House originally passed a CR with over $61 billion in cuts while Senate Democrats argued that a new CR should continue 2010 levels. The dispute was temporarily resolved with $4 billion in initial cuts drawn from earmarks and savings proposals in the President's budget. Most other programs will continue to be funded at 2010 levels.
To avoid a government shutdown later this month, however, Congress will need to reach another agreement before the new CR expires. During negotiations with Republicans last week, the White House offered an additional $6.5 billion in cuts and the Senate Appropriations Committee unveiled a proposed seven-month CR allocating the cuts. The Senate is expected to consider the various proposals this week.