Congress has avoided a knock-down drag-out budget showdown on the eve of the election.
Republican and Democratic leaders announced Tuesday they've struck a budget deal to keep the government running for another six months beyond the end of September, when the current fiscal year ends. And uncharacteristic of Congress, the continuing resolution comes months before the deadline.
House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid agreed on funding government agencies at $1.047 trillion.
"This agreement reached between the Senate, the House and the White House provides stability for the coming months when we will have to resolve critical issues that directly affect middle-class families," Reid said in a release. "I hope that we can face the challenges ahead in the same spirit of compromise."
The agreement comes way ahead of the dealdine, a sign both political parties are eager to avoid election-year politicking.
Boehner said staff members on both sides of the aisle will work through the August recess to draft the legislation, which he is optimistic will be passed by the House and Senate in September and sent to President Obama to be signed into law.
Over the years, the budget process has become bogged down by partisan bickering. And while House Republicans including Budget Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan advocated for a lower spending limit, one that funded agencies at the $1.028 trillion level, compromising now means Congress can get a jump start on untangling the "fiscal cliff" that is expected to hit in January. If Congress does not come to an agreement before January, $1.2 trillion in across-the-board cuts will automatically go into effect over the next ten years. Congress will also be forced to grapple with how to handle the a slew of Bush-era tax cuts that are set to expire at the end of the year.
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