US politicians agree to avoid funds shutdown

The US House of Representatives yesterday found a rare moment of accord in the budget fights that have paralysed Washington this year as lawmakers voted to extend government funding to December.

By a vote of 298 to 121, the Republican-controlled House passed a bill that would allow the government to keep running when current funding expires on Saturday.

The Senate later approved it by 70 votes to 30, meaning it can be signed into law by President Barack Obama.

One congressman described the co-operation as “a breath of fresh air”.

But the committee racing to find $1.2 trillion of spending cuts seemed no closer to a deal last night, ahead of a deadline on Wednesday, and the target may be scaled back.