Budget Deal Reached

A government shutdown was  avoided Friday night when a budget agreement was hammered out between Senate Republicans and Democrats with about an hour before the midnight deadline.

The deal includes a one-week stopgap continuing resolution CR (through April 15) with $2 billion in cuts, and agreement on a bill to fund the government through the rest of the year with $78.5 billion in cuts.

At press time it had been approved by both the Senate and the House, but still needed to be signed by the President.

The Office of Management and Budget sent out an advisory saying the President might not be able to sign the CR until Saturday morning, but that "agencies are instructed to continue their normal operations."

 "Tomorrow, I'm pleased to announce that the Washington Monument, as well as the entire federal government, will be open for business," said the President. " And that's because today Americans of different beliefs came together again."

 The deal paves the way for FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski to speak to the NAB convention next week in Las Vegas and for staffers for FCC Commissioner to remain in Boston, where he is speaking over the weekend at a media reform conference.

Details on the long-term bill were not available, but there were no cuts to noncommercial broadcasting or FCC funding for network neutrality rules among the $2 billion in cuts in the CR.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.