President approves stopgap funding for 2007

House approves stopgap funding for 2007

President Bush signed a $463.5 billion continuing resolution on Feb. 15 that will fund federal operations for the remainder of fiscal 2007, and avoided the possibility of a government shutdown. A temporary continuing resolution was set to expire within hours.

The Senate had passed the continuing resolution earlier that week, and the House had done so Jan. 31.

The 2007 appropriations process complies with his overall spending limits, Bush said.

“That means for the third year in a row, domestic discretionary spending will be below inflation,” Bush said in a statement.

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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