After the Senate’s bipartisan 91-to-9 vote in a favor of a bill that keeps federal agencies open through March 18 while enacting $4 billion in new spending cuts, Mr. Obama urged House and Senate leaders to meet with Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and two top aides to work out a longer-term budget agreement.
“Living with the threat of a shutdown every few weeks is not responsible, and it puts our economic progress in jeopardy,” said Mr. Obama, who signed the bill a few hours after the Senate vote. He said any eventual agreement should “cut spending and reduce deficits without damaging economic growth or gutting investments in education, research and development that will create jobs and secure our future.”
Republican leaders said they were already in talks with Democrats and the White House but would take part in budget meetings if they were invited. They noted that the Republican-led House had passed a $61 billion package of cuts covering the remaining seven months of the current fiscal year while the Democratic-controlled Senate had not produced any legislation beyond passing the temporary budget measure drafted by the House.