With only one week left before the start of the new fiscal year, Congress has yet to agree to a spending plan for 2014. If a plan is not enacted before 1 October, the federal government would shut down.

On Friday, the House of Representatives passed a bill to keep the government open through mid-December. The bill would provide $986 billion, slightly below the current, post-sequestration funding level according to the House Appropriations Committee.

“This CR [Continuing Resolution] keeps this Congress moving in the right direction,” House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers (R-KY) said in a statement. “It gives us time to solve the urgent fiscal issues facing our nation — finding a balanced and attainable plan that eliminates sequestration, implements careful reforms for both discretionary and mandatory spending, and keeps our economy growing.”

The measure is unlikely to pass the Senate in its current form because it contains a provision to defund the 2010 health care law.

“In case there is any shred of doubt in my House counterparts, I want to be absolutely crystal clear,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV). “Any bill that defunds Obamacare is dead. It’s a waste of time.”

An earlier version of the House legislation did not include the provision to defund health care reform. Some conservatives balked and insisted that House leadership defund the law in the short-term funding bill.

Reid is expected to remove the provision during Senate consideration of the bill.

The White House issued a veto threat against the House Continuing Resolution “because it advances a narrow ideological agenda that threatens our economy and the interests of the middle class,” the Office of Management and Budget said in the statement.


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