Early Saturday morning, the House voted 235 to 189 in favor of H.R. 1, "Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011". The vote was mostly along party lines with only three Republicans (John Campbell (CA), Jeff Flake (AZ) and Walter Jones (NC)) joining Democratic lawmakers in opposition of the bill. The continuing resolution (CR), which cuts $61 billion from spending compared with fiscal year 2010, would keep government operations funded through September when the current fiscal year ends.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) announced on Tuesday that he will attempt to pass a one-month stopgap funding bill that would keep the current spending levels and not allow any cuts. Reid said this would still be a $41 billion cut from President Obama's 2011 budget request. The stopgap bill would allow both chambers more time to negotiate the current CR that is being debated, and provide a way to fund the government for the remaining months of the fiscal year. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) have said they will not support anything that simply extends the current CR, as Republicans are looking for a short-term measure that would also include spending cuts. Republican aides say the House will propose a stopgap bill at the end of this week.
Action on the CR will be the first agenda item when the Senate is back in session on Monday. As current funding will expire on March 4th, failure of the House and Senate to reach an agreement in just five days would result in the first government shutdown the nation has seen since 1996.