Congress avoids government shutdown yet again

C.J. Ciaramella Contributor
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Congress averted yet another federal shutdown when the House passed an interim bill Tuesday to fund the government through November.

In lieu of a 2012 federal budget, the House voted 352-66 to extend current government funding through Nov. 18. The bill, which already passed the Senate, now moves to President Obama’s desk for his signature.

Bipartisan support for the bill came only after Republicans removed controversial spending cuts to offset an additional $3.2 billion in funding to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Senate Democrats balked at the offsets, which included about $1.5 billion in spending cuts to a Department of Energy loan program for manufacturers of fuel-efficient cars, as well as the DOE program that awarded a loan to bankrupted solar company Solyndra.

Partisan gridlock nearly led to a government shutdown, but the situation was defused when FEMA announced it did not need additional funding, allowing for smooth passage of the bill. (RELATED: Senate reaches deal in FEMA budget battle)

For those keeping score at home, this is the third time this year that congressional gridlock has nearly shut down the federal government.

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