House clears spending bill averting shutdown

By ANDREW TAYLOR | September 29, 2011 | 11:15 AM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House has passed a stopgap spending measure to avert a government shutdown this weekend. The legislation also refills disaster aid coffers drained by a series of recent storms, fires and tornadoes.

The measure passed the House with the unanimous permission of all members present in a chamber that was nearly empty because Congress is on vacation. It now goes to the White House for President Barack Obama's signature.

The measure provides $2.7 billion in disaster aid, less than both Democrats and Republicans had hoped for. A battle over whether some of the aid should have been "paid for' with spending cuts elsewhere caused lawmakers to pare the measure back.

The stopgap bill funds the government through Tuesday, allowing lawmakers to return next week and vote on another stopgap bill.