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

Index Last Change % Change
Dow 16,582.48 -60.53 -0.36%
Nasdaq 4,811.49 -16.84 -0.35%
S&P 500 1,980.02 -8.85 -0.44%
Treasuries 2.18 -0.00 -0.14%
Data as of 12:16pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Freeport-McMoRan Inc... 10.77 0.27 2.57%
Bank of America Corp... 16.30 -0.06 -0.40%
Apple Inc 113.76 0.47 0.42%
Ford Motor Co 13.87 0.13 0.95%
Intel Corp 28.86 0.44 1.56%
Data as of 12:01pm ET
Sponsors

Sections

Good news. August is about to end. Bad news. Investors still have many reasons to be nervous about the stock market -- even though the worst may be over. More

A lot of people are urging the vice president to run for president, including a Wall Street billionaire. More

Blue Apron, Boxed, and Nature Box are worth an estimated $2.5 billion. Their co-founders all went to the same high school. More

How do you run a successful crowdfunding campaign? Indiegogo's CEO Slava Rubin offers his top tips and mistakes to avoid. More

Looking for something good on Netflix? These entertaining films will help you learn more about finance and investing. More