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Shutdown averted but 'fiscal cliff' awaits

Congress appears to avoid shutdown

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.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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