House to Vote on U.S. Funding Should Budget Talks Fail

The U.S. House will vote on legislation to continue funding government operations and avoid a federal shutdown should budget negotiators fail to reach an agreement, Speaker John Boehner said.

The talks are being led by House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican who was his party’s vice presidential nominee in 2012, and Senate Budget Chairman Patty Murray, a Washington state Democrat.

“I’m hopeful that Chairman Ryan and Chairman Murray can come to some agreement on the budget,” Boehner, of Ohio, told reporters in Washington today. If they can’t, the House “will be prepared to move” on a temporary spending bill that would keep the government open, he said.

The commitment, which echoes comments Ryan made yesterday, reduces the risk of another government shutdown when federal spending authority expires Jan. 15.

The measure would fund the federal government initially at $988 billion, a level that would be automatically reduced to $967 billion in January.

Boehner didn’t provide details on the length of such a short-term funding bill, or whether the House would take it up before or after Dec. 13, when the House is scheduled to leave Washington for a several-week break.

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