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House Passes Stopgap U.S. Government Funding Measure

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Jan. 14 (Bloomberg) -- The House passed a stopgap government spending bill today to allow time for Congress to enact later this week a $1.1 trillion measure that would keep U.S. agencies operating through Sept. 30.

The short-term measure, passed by voice vote and sent to the Senate, would finance federal agencies at current spending levels through Jan. 18. Funds are scheduled to run out tomorrow night, and Congress is trying to avoid a repeat of the 16-day partial government shutdown in October.

Senate Appropriations Chairman Barbara Mikulski, a Maryland Democrat, predicted the Senate would pass the three-day spending measure shortly after the House vote.

“I don’t see any big objection,” she said.

Both chambers plan to vote this week on the $1.1 trillion bipartisan compromise spending bill unveiled last night. It includes $1.01 trillion for U.S. government operations, plus war financing known as overseas combat operations.

Republican efforts to derail some regulatory initiatives and to deny funding for implementation of the 2010 health-care law were left out to ensure passage.

The bill, announced by lawmakers including Mikulski and House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers, a Kentucky Republican, probably will reach the House floor tomorrow, Rogers said.

Divided Government

“Not everyone will like everything in this bill, but in this divided government a critical bill such as this simply cannot reflect the wants of only one party,” the lawmakers said in a joint statement. “We believe this is a good, workable measure.”

Negotiators had agreed on a $1.01 trillion base spending level in December as part of a two-year, bipartisan budget agreement. The spending measure unveiled late yesterday would support defense spending at about $573 billion for the current fiscal year, with $85.2 billion for overseas combat operations in Afghanistan, about $2 billion less than in fiscal year 2013.

The stopgap measure passed today is H.J.Res. 106. The $1.1 trillion measure proposed late yesterday will be offered as an amendment to H.R. 3547.

To contact the reporters on this story: Derek Wallbank in Washington at dwallbank@bloomberg.net; Kathleen Hunter in Washington at khunter9@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jodi Schneider at jschneider50@bloomberg.net

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