Stopgap Bill Keeps U.S. Government Running; Labrador Votes "No," Simpson "Yes"

by

Idaho freshman Congressman Raul Labrador voted "no" overnight in a losing effort to stop a $38 billion compromise to keep the U.S. government running. The final House vote was 348-70 in favor of the measure. Senior Idaho Rep. Mike Simpson voted "yes."

The congressional showdown ran right up to the deadline with a tentative 2011 budget averting a shutdown of federal operations across the country and around the globe. The early morning announcement followed a day of Capitol Hill melodrama with Democrats and Republicans both threatening not to give in to their opponents.

In the end, last night's agreement was only a short-term spending measure to keep the government running another week. A more detailed spending plan will be hammered out next week, when the agreement is turned into legal language and works its way through the legislative process.

The agreement cuts $38 billion in spending for the current fiscal year that ends on Sept. 30. Once the budget officially passes, Congress and the nation braces itself for a fight over whether to raise the constitutional debt limit, and next year's budget, which officially begins in six months.