Congress Ekes Out Budget Bill

Just hours before the federal government would have run out of money, Congress hustled to pass a temporary budget bill that will keep Washington funded through March 4. In the Senate, even Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell joined 24 of his GOP colleagues to vote for the bill—although the House voted along more strictly partisan lines. The funding measure freezes all government cabinets at 2010 spending levels, a hardship that some expect to be difficult for departments such as State, which need flexibility in responding to national-security conflicts. “We have an imperfect continuing resolution, which is clearly preferable to a government shutdown in this holiday season,” said Democrat Jared Polis during floor debate.