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.External links:House Appropriations Committee Summary of CR Through March 18Text of Continuing Resolution (H.J. Res. 44)White House Press Briefing on Budget NegotiationsSenate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell's Response to White House OfferSenate Appropriations Committee Summary of Proposed Seven Month CR