Congress OKs spending - until Tuesday

By Charles Riley, staff reporter


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Congress on Friday approved a three-day spending bill that will keep the government running until Tuesday at midnight.

The three-day "continuing resolution" came a little more than 24 hours before the current temporary spending measure was set to expire.

The vote represents the latest turn in what has become a contentious preview of one of the prime fiscal issues in Washington next year: The clash between the parties over spending.

In the short term, it means the House and Senate will have to take up the issue again next week as they try to figure out a solution for the current fiscal year, which ends in September.

The good news, if you can call it that, is that Congress has come down to the wire many times before and has usually managed to pass a funding bill without causing a government shutdown.

A shutdown would throw a real monkey wrench into both public and private operations, as the government shifts to performing only essential operations.

The circuitous process used by lawmakers this year is not how things are supposed to work.

Normally, lawmakers pass 12 appropriation bills for the president's approval. Those bills give federal agencies the legal authority to spend and conduct business.

This year, not one of the 12 has been approved by the Senate.

"In a rational world, we would pass all these things [12 appropriation bills] before the fiscal year begins," said Rudolph Penner, a former Congressional Budget Office director who is now public policy scholar at at the Urban Institute. "I think it's outrageous that we have gotten so used to passing continuing resolutions."

The last time Congress failed to pass funding bills, in 1995 and 1996, both political parties were damaged, with Republicans attracting most of the public's ire.

"They'd be crazy to let this happen again," Penner said. To top of page

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 16,262.56 89.32 0.55%
Nasdaq 4,034.16 11.47 0.29%
S&P 500 1,842.98 12.37 0.68%
Treasuries 2.63 -0.01 -0.42%
Data as of 8:04am ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 16.39 0.39 2.44%
Facebook Inc 59.09 0.20 0.34%
Yahoo! Inc 34.21 0.76 2.29%
The Coca-Cola Co 40.18 1.45 3.74%
Intel Corp 26.77 0.21 0.79%
Data as of Apr 15
Sponsors

Sections

The banking giant says legal costs tied to various mortgage bond settlements dragged down earnings in the first quarter. More

Observers are warning that risks of a blow up in China's property market are rising, threatening a slowdown that could hurt global growth. More

Yahoo is still in the midst of its turnaround, but investors liked what they saw in the company's first-quarter results. More

Schwinn, Trek and Cannondale are all iconic American bicycle brands. But none of them are made in the United States. More

Pamela Knighton, a 51-year-old social worker from Cuthbert, Ga. who earns less than $25,000 a year, had been really looking forward to her $4,300 tax refund last year. More

Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.