Congress Passes Funding Bill, $38B in Cuts

The battle over 2011 spending is nearly over—just months before the fiscal year ends. Both the House and the Senate passed a bill Thursday that will fund the government for the rest of the year, with $38 billion in cuts (although the real meaning of that figure is in dispute). The bill, agreed upon by Speaker John Boehner, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and President Obama during furious negotiation last week, passed despite the defections of 59 Republicans who blasted the bill as offering far too little in cuts. However, 81 Democrats voted for it, giving it enough votes to pass. President Obama is expected to sign the measure as well. Now it’s on to the next big fights—over the national debt ceiling and the 2012 budget.