Our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy have changed.

By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

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

Search for Jobs

Index Last Change % Change
Dow 19,170.42 -21.51 -0.11%
Nasdaq 5,255.65 4.55 0.09%
S&P 500 2,191.95 0.87 0.04%
Treasuries 2.39 -0.05 -2.09%
Data as of 5:27pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 21.23 -0.27 -1.26%
Chesapeake Energy Co... 7.23 0.18 2.55%
Ford Motor Co 12.24 -0.19 -1.53%
Freeport-McMoRan Inc... 15.42 0.39 2.59%
Cisco Systems Inc 29.25 -0.20 -0.68%
Data as of Dec 2
Sponsors

Sections

Increased health coverage through Obamacare and greater use of health care services accounted for the nearly 6% rise of national health spending in 2015, which approached $10,000 per person. More

Facebook admits it messed up more ad metrics than previously thought, potentially eroding its trust and relationship with marketers and publishers. More