Congress beats deadline, passes stop-gap budget
Tuesday, December 21, 2010; 8:51 PM
Facing a midnight deadline to avoid a government shutdown, Congress passed a bill Tuesday that will fund the federal government through March 4.
The bill, which also will freeze federal salaries for two years, narrowly passed the House, 193 to 165, several hours after it easily cleared the Senate on an 79 to 16 vote.
President Obama was standing by at the White House to sign the measure.
Republicans successfully forced Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) to pull the measure from the floor and instead take up the stopgap measure, which would increase federal spending by $1.16 billion, an increase of less than 1 percent.