Senate approves stopgap funding for 2007

House approves stopgap funding for 2007

President Bush must sign a continuing resolution that the Senate approved by tonight or risk shutting down the government.

On Feb. 14, the Senate passed the continuing resolution to fund government operations at $463.5 billion for the remaining seven months of fiscal 2007. The vote was 81-15.

The president must sign the measure into law by midnight tonight, when the temporary continuing resolution expires. The House approved the continuing resolution Jan. 31.

The stopgap measure funds federal agencies until Sept. 30 at fiscal 2006 levels, with some adjustments. The 2008 fiscal year begins Oct. 1.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) praised passage of the continuing resolution.

“Today's action is another step toward cleaning up the fiscal mess left by the 109th Congress,” he said in a statement. “The Democratic Congress is already delivering results and is taking this country in a new direction.”

The Republican-led Congress last year completed just two spending bills – for the Defense and Homeland Security departments. Democrats, who gained control of Congress in November 2006, chose to use a yearlong continuing resolution to keep the government running so they could focus on the 2008 budget, which Bush proposed last week.

The resolution, co-written by the chairmen of the House and Senate Appropriations committees, also eliminates earmarks, individual projects that members of Congress insert in spending bills.

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