The House of Representatives on Thursday approved by a vote of 332-94 a modest bipartisan plan to spend more on both defense and domestic programs for the next two years, an agreement aimed at avoiding government shutdowns and easing automatic spending cuts.
Conservatives fumed that the plan didn’t take the kind of bold steps to reduce spending and deficits they have long sought. Democrats were not pleased that the package didn’t tackle emergency unemployment benefits, which expire Dec. 28.
But momentum for the agreement was too strong. The House is scheduled to leave for the year Friday, and heads home with its lowest average annual Gallup poll approval rating since the question was first asked 39 years ago. A key reason is the public’s disdain for the gridlock that’s plagued Congress all year. With Thursday’s vote, lawmakers can now point to some sense of comity.