House passes bill to cut spending, avert gov't shutdown for 2 weeks

(AP) - The House passed emergency short-termlegislation Tuesday to cut federal spending by $4 billion and averta government shutdown. Senate Democrats agreed to follow suit,handing

WASHINGTON - (AP) - The House passed emergency short-termlegislation Tuesday to cut federal spending by $4 billion and averta government shutdown. Senate Democrats agreed to follow suit,handing Republicans an early victory in their drive to rein ingovernment. The bill that cleared the House on a bipartisan vote of 335-91eliminates the threat of a shutdown on March 4, when existingfunding authority expires. At the same time, it creates acompressed two-week timeframe for the White House and lawmakers toengage in what looms as a highly contentious negotiation on afollow-up bill to set spending levels through the Sept. 30 end ofthe fiscal year. In the Senate, Majority Leader Harry Reid said the short-termbill would win approval and be ready for President Barack Obama'ssignature within 48 hours. "We'll pass this and then look atfunding the government on a long-term basis," said the NevadaDemocrat. There was no immediate reaction from the White House, whichearlier in the day called publicly for an interim measure of up tofive weeks.

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