by ANDREW TAYLOR
WASHINGTON — The rival party leaders on Capitol Hill are moving to avert any chance of a government shutdown this fall in advance of the presidential election, congressional aides said Monday.
Republican House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio and Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada instead are likely to soon unveil a stopgap spending agreement that would keep the government on autopilot at basically current funding levels after the 2012 budget year closes on Sept. 30.
It’s a tactical retreat for Republicans, who had sought to cut $19 billion below the budget agreement reached last summer with President Barack Obama and shift $8 billion more from domestic agencies to the Pentagon. Democrats had insisted on running the day-to-day operations of government agencies at the $1.047 figure in last summer’s budget and debt accord.