Deal Reached on U.S. Budget Extension, Says Top Senator

Deal was reached Tuesday to keep funding the U.S. government through next March Deal was reached between Harry Reid, Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner and President Obama Deal heads off what could have been an explosive showdown over the budget in the run-up to the general election

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced a deal was reached Tuesday to keep funding the U.S. government through next March, avoiding a potential partisan shutdown fight ahead of November's election.

Reid said the deal on the so-called continuing resolution was reached between himself, Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner, and President Barack Obama, and will allow operations to continue through the first quarter of 2013.

"It will provide stability for the coming months," Reid told reporters.

"This is very good, because we can resolve these critical issues that directly affect the country as soon as the election is over and move on to do good things," he added. "It puts this out of the way."

Reid said it was not possible to draft the document and vote on it by the time Congress goes on its August recess on Friday, "but we've got an agreement, we'll vote on it when we get back in September."

He said the deal was forged in a "spirit of compromise," a rare feat these days on Capitol Hill where partisan bickering has become the norm among lawmakers.

The deal heads off what could have been an explosive showdown over the budget in the run-up to the general election that will see Republican Mitt Romney challenge President Barack Obama for the White House.

If Congress passes the resolution, the funding would be equivalent to the $1.047 trillion level agreed to in the 2011 Budget Control Act, above the $1.03 trillion which Republicans called for in House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan's proposal earlier this year.

The deal would remove one of the key elements of unfinished congressional business that make up the "fiscal cliff," which includes decisions on whether to extend the Bush-era tax cuts and how to avoid some $109 billion in domestic and military spending cuts set to kick in early next year if Congress does not act.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2012

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