By Linda D. Kozaryn, American Forces Press ServiceApril 9, 2011
WASHINGTON, April 8, 2011 - Less than an hour before the federal government would have been forced to shut down, President Barack Obama announced that leaders in both parties had reached a budget agreement.
"Tomorrow, I'm pleased to announce that the Washington Monument, as well as the entire federal government, will be open for business," Obama said at 11:04 p.m. EDT. "And that's because today Americans of different beliefs came together again."
The agreement calls for "the largest annual spending cut in our history," Obama noted. "Like any worthwhile compromise, both sides had to make tough decisions and give ground on issues that were important to them. And I certainly did that."
The agreement will allow small businesses to get the loans they need, families to get the mortgages they applied for, and hundreds of thousands of Americans to show up at work and take home their paychecks on time, including the nation's brave men and women in uniform, he said.
Following the president's announcement, the Office of Management and Budget issued a memorandum stating that while the current Continuing Resolution would expire at midnight tonight, Congress had indicated that it reached agreement on a funding bill for the rest of the fiscal year.
"Earlier this evening, the Senate passed a short term Continuing Resolution that will extend current funding levels until the full-year bill can be passed and enacted next week. We expect the House to take up the CR shortly and for the President to sign this CR no later than tomorrow. As a result, at this time agencies are instructed to continue their normal operations."
A Pentagon spokesman stressed that Defense Department employees' and servicemembers' pay will not be impacted. "There was no shutdown, and temporary funding has been approved by Congress. Everyone will get paid as usual," he said.