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Shutdown Averted . . . again

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Even though we weren't physically in Washington, the House approved (by unanimous consent) a week-long funding bill to keep the federal government up and running. The agreement averts the short-lived threat of another government shutdown, and gives the House and Senate an extra week to agree on a longer-term resolution that is expected to fund the government through November 18th.

The stopgap bill became necessary after Senate leaders blocked a House-passed measure that included extra disaster relief funds, which were offset with cuts to green energy loans like those tapped by Solyndra (the scandal-plagued solar panel maker). The impasse was averted when FEMA withdrew its request for additional funds.

If you're like me, you are probably sick and tired of hearing about these shutdown threats and last-minute fixes. In my experience, neither Republicans nor Democrats want to see government services interrupted, but once somebody threatens the "S"-word, the extra media attention tends to add fuel to the fire.

Fortunately, next week's funding bill includes disaster relief and spending reductions, all at levels agreed to in the August compromise, so no new opposition is expected. My hope is that we can agree on this bill swiftly and start restoring some badly-needed financial sanity in Washington.

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