no shutdown until at least early 2013
The Senate's top Democrat announced Tuesday that he and House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) had reached an agreement to keep the government open and funded through early next year.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said that he and Boehner had agreed on a temporary, six-month extension of government funding in order to avert a Sept. 30 government shutdown unless Congress had acted.
"This agreement reached between the Senate, the House and the White House provides stability for the coming months, when we will have to resolve critical issues that directly affect middle class families," Reid said on Capitol Hill.
The six-month bill will maintain the topline funding level of $1.047 trillion, Reid said, announcing as well that a vote on the extension is likely for early September.
The agreement allows lawmakers to avoid the specter of a shutdown with just weeks to go until Election Day, a motivating factor that prodded negotiators to reach a deal. A Republican leadership aide told NBC News that the GOP did not want to risk a distraction from its central messaging on President Obama's economic record.
"Taking this issue off the table will keep the larger focus on jobs, the economy, and President Obama's failed economic policies," the aide said. "That's where Republicans win and Democrats lose."
damn, no more shutdown drama during the election? these guys are ruining all the fun!