Entries in Stop-Gap Spending Plan (1)


Senate Passes Stopgap Spending Plan; Three More Weeks to Solve Funding Mess

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The Senate Thursday passed a bill to extend government funding for three more weeks, preventing a federal shutdown at the end of this week and buying lawmakers additional time to try to reach a long-term funding deal.

The Senate passed the three-week funding bill by a vote of 87-13 Thursday afternoon. The senators voting against the bill were Republicans Mike Crapo, Jim DeMint, John Ensign, Orrin Hatch, Jim Inhofe, Mike Lee, Rand Paul, James Risch, and Marco Rubio; Democrats Carl Levin, Patty Murray and Jay Rockefeller; and independent Bernie Sanders.

Since the measure has already passed the House, it now moves on to President Obama’s desk. But even though the Senate has just passed the new three-week bill to cut $6 billion in funding -- the sixth temporary spending bill during the current fiscal year -- the fight over the next spending measure has already begun.

Any additional funding bills must include the Pentagon budget money through the end of the year, the Senate’s top Republican, Mitch McConnell, warned this week. Meanwhile, 23 GOP senators have vowed to vote against raising the debt ceiling later this year unless the White House agrees to tackle entitlement programs in the budget talks.

Across the aisle, the Senate’s number-three Democrat, Chuck Schumer, has called on House Speaker John Boehner to “abandon” the Tea Party in the talks, warning that “it’s the only way out of this bind.”

For now, with lawmakers set to spend next week in recess, at least government funding has been extended through April 8. How to extend funding through the end of the current fiscal year remains an unanswered question.

Copyright 2011 ABC news Radio 

ABC News Radio