Congressional Leaders Near Budget Deal to Keep Government Running

July 31, 2012

House and Senate leaders are nearing a temporary spending deal that would keep the federal government running for the first half of the next fiscal year, which will begin in October, aides in both parties said Monday, an effort to avoid a messy government shutdown fight on the eve of the November election.

The agreement could be announced by House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) as soon as Tuesday, aides said.

The deal would come with two months to spare, an unusually early resolution of Washington’s annual budget fight for a Congress that has repeatedly run up against do-or-die deadlines and nearly forced shutdowns.

It is a sign that Republicans, in particular, understand the political peril of risking a budget fight in late September and would prefer a strategic retreat now, denying Democrats a chance to use a possible shutdown as a political cudgel at the height of the campaign season.

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