House approves legislation to fund government through September
The House of Representatives gave its final approval to legislation Thursday that funds government through the end of September, ensuring that a government shutdown will be averted. Our Washington, D.C. bureau reporter Michael Scotto has the story.
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WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Neither side in Congress got everything it asked for. But the plan passed by the House Thursday prevents a possible fiscal calamity.
“Despite its imperfections, I will support this bill to avert a government shutdown, which would be disastrous for our economy,” said Representative Nita Lowey.
The legislation, now on its way to the President for his signature, is essentially a stop-gap measure that funds government through the end of September. It keeps in place across the board spending cuts that kicked in earlier this month, but softens their impact in a few cases.
While this spending plan got bipartisan support, the Republican-backed Ryan Budget, which also passed the House Thursday, received no Democratic votes.
“The statement of values that we have is one and stands in stark contrast to theirs,” Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said.
Paul Ryan's plan stands in stark contrast to President Obama's agenda. It would balance the budget over the next ten years by cutting nearly $5 trillion in spending and turning Medicare into a voucher-like program for future retirees.
“This is good government. It's a path to prosperity for our children and grandchildren,” Representative Chris Collins said.
Congressman Chris Gibson wanted a different approach. He was one of only ten Republicans to vote against it.
Gibson said, “I admire that they were ready to be a tough calls, but I think there are other ways to find savings.”
Senate Democrats are poised to vote on their own budget blueprint for the first time in four years. It wouldn't balance the budget, but it would cut the deficit with a mix of spending cuts and tax increases on the wealthy.
Neither plan will make it to the President's desk. But the hope is that both sides might eventually bridge their vast differences and enact a comprehensive spending plan.