WASHINGTON -- Congressional leaders and the White House have reached a tentative budget deal to avert a government shutdown and pay for federal operations into 2013.
The six-month stopgap measure would keep the government funded at current levels previously agreed to by Republicans and Democrats -- dashing, for now, the hopes of conservatives who have sought to make steeper spending reductions, including eliminating funding for President Obama’s healthcare law.
While the agreement resolves a stalemate that could have led to a shutdown before the fall election, it does little to address the larger budget debate over expiring tax cuts and mandatory spending cuts scheduled to occur in the new year.
Votes on the tentative deal are set for September, before the new fiscal year begins Oct. 1.
“This is very good, because we can resolve these critical issues that directly affect the country soon as the election’s over and move on to do good things,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) told the media on Tuesday. “It puts this out of the way.”