Walking with House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, right, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., the Republican vice presidential candidate, returns to Capitol Hill to vote on a stopgap spending bill that avoids a government shutdown but carries a price tag $19 billion higher than the budget he wrote as chairman of the House Budget Committee, in Washington, Thursday, Sept. 13, 2012. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
WASHINGTON (AP) - The prospect of a one-two punch of tax increases and slashing, automatic spending cuts will still confront lawmakers when they return to Washington after Election Day.
The House on Thursday passed a six-month stopgap spending bill to keep agencies running past the end of the budget year, the elections and into the spring. That effectively scratches a major item from Congress' to-do list heading into a potentially brutal postelection session.
The bipartisan House vote for the measure sent it to the Senate, which is expected to clear the bill next week for President Barack Obama's signature.
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