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Congress Reaches Tentative Deal To Avoid Pre-Election Government Shutdown

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"Leader Reid and I have reached an agreement by which the House and Senate will approve a six-month continuing resolution in September to keep the government operating into next year," Boehner said in a statement. "During the August district work period, committee members and their staff will write legislation that can be passed by the House and Senate in September and sent to President Obama to be signed into law."

Congress leaves town for a month-long recess at the end of this week. The lack of a vote before then may reflect Boehner's inability to round up a significant number of his rank and file members on such short notice. The Senate has a busy schedule this week -- which includes a cybersecurity bill and Iran sanctions -- but Reid's office said they would have no problem advancing the stopgap measure now, suggesting the holdup is in the House.

"We would like to have the votes before we leave here but it's just -- we can't do it," Reid said. "I appreciate Speaker Boehner's cooperation in this matter and I hope we can face these challenges ahead with the same cooperation that we've had -- and spirit of compromise the last few days on this issue."

The deal, if successful, means Republican leaders have dodged a bullet -- averting a shutdown fight just weeks before the election, despite the fact that House conservatives have signaled a desire to go down that road. A quiet appropriations process would be a relief for top Republicans who fear another standoff would damage their hopes on Election Day.

About The Author

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Sahil Kapur is TPM's senior congressional reporter and Supreme Court correspondent. His articles have been published in the Huffington Post, The Guardian and The New Republic. Email him at sahil@talkingpointsmemo.com and follow him on Twitter at @sahilkapur.