Gov't shutdown averted as lawmakers reach agreement

Republican PartyU.S. Government Shutdown Controversy (2011)John BoehnerCNN (tv network)

Democrats and Republicans narrowly averted a partial shutdown of the federal government Friday night, agreeing on a budget deal and a short-term funding extension little more than an hour before the clock struck midnight and time ran out.

The new funding extension, which cuts spending by $2 billion, will last through next Thursday.

"The government will be open for business," President Barack Obama said.

"In the final hours before our government would have been forced to shut down, leaders in both parties reached an agreement that will allow our small businesses to get the loans they need, our families to get the mortgages they applied for, and hundreds of thousands of Americans to show up at work and take home their paychecks on time."

Negotiators capped days of frantic closed-door talks and public recriminations by agreeing on a framework for a package of $38.5 billion in spending cuts covering the rest of the fiscal year, which expires September 30.

Republicans, bolstered by their capture of the House of Representatives in last November's midterm elections, had initially pushed for $61 billion in cuts.

A GOP push to strip $317 million in federal funding from Planned Parenthood failed. Democrats also turned back Republican attempts to get federal dollars currently set aside for family planning and women's health turned into block grants for states.

Such a move would have given governors and state legislatures more ability to cut funding for services opposed by conservatives.

Sources told CNN, however, that leaders of the Democratic-controlled Senate agreed to hold separate votes on both measures, as well as on an initiative to repeal President Barack Obama's health care overhaul.

Here in San Diego, Representative Brian Bilbray (R-Carlsbad) said he was pleased a deal was done.

"They didn't enjoy this and neither did we," stated Bilbray, referring to the budget battle with Democrats, "Especially not the people who depend on us making sure we kept the doors open."

Attempts to reach other, Democratic congressional delegates in San Diego County were unsuccessful.

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