ABC News’ Matthew Jaffe reports:
All that talk about a government shutdown can be put on hold for another two weeks.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told reporters today that within the next 48 hours the Senate – with some Democrats on board – will pass the two-week spending bill that is set to emerge from the GOP-controlled House later today.
As his spokesman did last Friday, Reid contended that the GOP’s stop-gap measure that would cut $4 billion in spending is a modified version of what Democrats have wanted all along since it is full of cuts they had already supported.
“These are our programs, so we’ll pass this and then we’ll look to funding the government on a long-term basis,” Reid said.
“The sooner we get this short-term funding of the government done, the quicker we can move to a long-term CR,” he added later.
Once that fight over a long-term funding bill starts to play out, Reid said President Obama will get involved and “take this message to the American people.”
“He’s going to become more engaged and I know he will. He has the bully pulpit at the White House and that’s very important,” Reid said.
But for now it’s Republicans who are claiming victory in this round of the spending bout.
“It’s the first time since I’ve been here that I can recall of us cutting anything and I hope that’s the beginning of a trend,” the Senate’s top Republican Mitch McConnell said.
“The House is going to send over a two-week CR and I’m confident that’s where we’ll end up.”
If both chambers of Congress failed to agree on an extension by the end of Friday, then funding would run out and the government would shut down. But despite fears in recent weeks that a shutdown could occur, that no longer appears to be a possibility.
UPDATE: Congressmen voted 335-91 to pass the two-week version of the continuing resolution. Senators are expected to vote on that proposal within the next 48 hours.