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Stopgap measure keeps government in business with no budget

Clinton gives Congress another week to come up with spending plan

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Clinton on Friday night signed a measure to keep the government operating for a week while Congress struggles to pass a new budget.

If not for the stopgap legislation, called a "continuing resolution," the government and its agencies would have run out of money. The fiscal year ended October 1, and the president extended the deadline for a new budget to October 21.

Clinton
 

In a statement, Clinton said, "Let me serve notice now: If Congress fails to meet this deadline, any further extension must be, at most, for a very few days. Congress needs to finish its work and send me a budget."

This is the third short-term continuing resolution signed by the president since the fiscal year began. Congress has yet to pass eight of the 13 spending bills needed to keep the government operating.

Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, R-Mississippi, said he hopes Congress will complete its work next week.

While Republicans have labeled Clinton an unbridled spender, he has chided them for loading the budget bills with their own projects, which have bloated the Republicans' original budget plan by tens of billions of dollars.

Congress cleared about $160 billion worth of spending bills on Thursday, but disputes over education, hate crimes, immigration and other issues stood between the Republican majority and Clinton in efforts to complete the rest of the federal budget.

Reuters contributed to this report.

 
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