House Passes Bill To Fund Federal Government Through September
The House of Representatives gave its final approval Thursday to legislation that funds government through the end of September, ensuring that a government shutdown will be averted. Washington bureau reporter Michael Scotto filed the following report for NY1.
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WASHINGTON, D.C. - Neither side in Congress got everything it asked for, but the plan passed by the House of Representatives Thursday prevents a possible fiscal calamity.
"Despite its imperfections, I will support this bill to avert a government shutdown, which would be disastrous for our economy," said Rep. Nita Lowey, whose district covers Rockland County and a portion of Westchester County.
The legislation, which is now on its way to President Barack Obama for his signature, is essentially a stopgap measure that funds government through the end of September.
It keeps in place across-the-board spending cuts that kicked in earlier this month, but softens their impact in a few cases.
While this spending plan got bipartisan support, the Republican-backed Ryan Budget, which also passed the House Thursday, received no Democratic votes.
"The statement of values that we have is one we're very proud of, and we believe stands in stark contrast to theirs," said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
Paul Ryan's plan would balance the budget over the next 10 years by cutting nearly $5 trillion from social safety net programs and turning Medicare into a voucher-like program for future retirees.
Republican Rep. Michael Grimm was the only member of the New York City Congressional delegation to support it.
"We all know that it's not going to be signed into law," Grimm said. "But it does represent my core values, which is getting spending under control, because I think it's extremely detrimental for future generations."
Senate Democrats are poised to vote on their own budget blueprint for the first time in four years. It wouldn't balance the budget, but it would cut the deficit with a mix of spending cuts and tax increases on the wealthy.
Neither plan will make it to the president's desk, but the hope is that both sides might eventually bridge their vast differences and enact a comprehensive spending plan.