Friday, April 08, 2011
Federal Budget Deal Reached, Government Shutdown Averted At Least Temporarily
Perilously close to a midnight deadline, the White House and congressional leaders have reached agreement to cut billions of dollars in spending to avoid the first government shutdown in 15 years.
House Speaker John Boehner informed the GOP rank and file of the accord, reached in grueling negotiations over several weeks, an official said.
Because drafting and then passing the broader legislation could take days, congressional leaders raced to approve a stopgap measure to prevent the onset of the first shutdown in 15 years, due to begin at midnight. Officials said it would keep the government in funds through the middle of next week.
Boehner told reporters just before 11 p.m. EDT that the House would continue working.
Republicans said the deal called for $39 billion in spending cuts, a measure that one official said Boehner told his rank and file marked the "largest real-dollar spending cut in American history."
Over a decade, the agreement would cut more than $500 billion from the federal budget, Boehner added, according to a participant in the meeting.
The agreement marked an extraordinary reach across party lines and the first test of a new era of divided government that includes Obama in the White House, control of the Senate by fellow Democrats and a tea party-flavored Republican majority in the House.