BREAKTHROUGH

Congress Passes Stopgap Bill

In an epic close call, Congress reached a deal to avoid a government shutdown just an hour before their deadline on Friday night. “This is the best deal we could get out of them,” House Speaker John Boehner told rank-and-file Republicans after a marathon meeting with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. “We will in fact cut spending and keep our government open." The compromise involes a six-day stopgap budget that will slash $2 billion in spending and keep the lights on until Thursday. In the meantime, Congress will hammer out a spending for the rest of 2011 that'll cut another $39 billion. The Senate passed the stopgap bill by unanimous resolution late Friday night, with the House following suit soon after.