Congress sends Bush stopgap funds to avert shutdown

Washington, Sept 29 | Updated: Sep 30 2006, 05:30am hrs
The US Senate on Friday approved stopgap funding legislation needed to prevent a government shutdown since Congress failed to pass the annual spending bills before the start of the new fiscal year October 1.

The measure, attached to a fiscal 2007 bill to fund Defense Department activities, was passed by the House of Representatives on Tuesday and now goes to President George W Bush for signing into law.

At the end of this week, Congress is scheduled to start a six-week recess, giving it no time to pass most of the regular spending bills to keep government agencies and programs running beyond Saturday, when the current fiscal year ends.

With this legislation, Congress has until November 17 to pass the regular spending bills, combine them into an "omnibus" measure or pass another stopgap funding bill.