US agrees a funding deal for next year

US LAWMAKERS agreed late last night to fund the government through next year, potentially avoiding a shutdown that would have further eroded Congres’ tattered reputation ahead of the 2012 election.

A group of Republican and Democratic politicians in charge of government spending agreed on how to fund crucial government functions until the current fiscal year to the end of October 2012, congressional aides said.

Politicians are expected to publish the massive spending bill, also known as the omnibus, today.

The House of Representatives and the Senate must still vote in favor of the spending bill before a temporary funding measure expires on Friday.

A Senate panel also said yesterday that it had agreed new sanctions against Iran’s central bank, and frozen $700m in aid payments to Pakistan, in a bid to curtail the movement of explosives into Afghanistan.