- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Congressional leaders announced Tuesday that they will yet again miss the September deadline for passing spending bills, and instead they will keep the government running into next year with a stopgap measure.

The decision heads off a last-minute government shutdown in the weeks before November’s elections.

“This agreement reached between the Senate, the House and the White House provides stability for the coming months, when we will have to resolve critical issues that directly affect middle class families,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, in announcing the agreement, which he said was reached with House Republicans and President Obama.

Pushing off the spending only adds to the major issues Congress is piling up for the end of this year and the beginning of next year, including the expiration of the George W. Bush-era tax cuts and the looming cuts to defense and domestic spending that are slated to take effect in January. Aides said Tuesday’s deal does not end the threat of those cuts.

The details of the agreement will be written by staffers this month while lawmakers are back home on vacation. Congress won’t approve it until September, when lawmakers return for a few weeks before heading back out on the campaign trail.

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