The Senate last night approved a measure to keep the government running when the current budget year ends on Sept 30. The House is expected to approve the one week CR when they come in for a quick pro-forma session on Thursday, avoiding a potential government shutdown on Friday. Both bodies were originally scheduled to be in recess this week.
The Senate voted on two measures- a one-week extension of current funding through October 4 and a separate bill that would fund the government through November 18. The House will debate the longer term CR when they return to legislative session next Tuesday.
Neither bill contains any additional spending for disaster relief. Last week, the House and Senate could not agree on a temporary spending bill that would have provided additional funding in FY2011 for FEMA to continue disaster relief efforts - and whether that amount should be "offset" by cuts to other programs.
"This compromise should satisfy Republicans...and it should satisfy Democrats...it's a win for everyone," said Senate Majority leader Harry Reid (D-NV) just before the vote.
An agreement between Democrats and Republicans became possible after FEMA said it would have enough money to aid victims of natural disasters to last through the end of the budget year.