UPDATE 1-U.S. Congress votes to avert government shutdown

(Adds details, background)

WASHINGTON, Dec 2 (BestGrowthStock) – The U.S. Congress on Thursday
extended soon-to-expire funding for the federal government for
another two weeks, giving Democrats time to craft a more
lasting solution.

The Senate approved a measure to extend temporary funding
until Dec. 18, one day after it passed the House of
Representatives. The measure now goes to President Barack Obama
to sign into law.

Although the fiscal year began on Oct. 1, the government
has been operating on last year’s budget as Congress has failed
to pass the 12 bills needed to fund government operations.

Current funding is due to run out on Friday.

The temporary funding has kept national parks open and
aircraft carriers afloat but a wide range of research grants
and other new initiatives have been placed on hold.

Senate Democrats have been working to wrap all 12 of the
spending bills into one comprehensive package that would total
about $1.108 trillion, which is $27 billion less than
Democratic President Barack Obama requested.

They hope that figure will be low enough to attract enough
Republican support to secure passage. But their efforts could
be stymied by Republicans pressing for deeper spending cuts.

In recent days, Democrats have talked increasingly of a
temporary funding bill that would cover the rest of the fiscal
year, through Sept. 30, 2011. That bill would contain changes
to allow government agencies to move ahead with new initiatives
that have been stalled so far.
(Reporting by Andy Sullivan; Editing by John O’Callaghan)

UPDATE 1-U.S. Congress votes to avert government shutdown