Senate and House leaders announced on July 31 that they had reached a deal with the White House to pass a continuing resolution (CR) in September to keep the government running through March 2013.

The funding will adhere to the $1.047-trillion cap mandated by last year’s Budget Control Act, said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.). The House had wanted to pare the cap down to $1.028 trillion, which would have led to deeper cuts in construction and other programs.

Congress has been slow in approving the various spending bills of the fiscal 2013. As of August 1, the House had passed six of the FY13 spending bills; the chamber’s Appropriations Committee had approved five others. The Senate has approved none of the bills, although nine measures have cleared the committee.

The CR will keep the government funded through the election and lame duck session, essentially punting the hard decisions about which programs to cut until the next Congress and possibly a new president takes office.

In a statement, White House press secretary Jay Carney said that although the agreement was a “welcome development,” the president “has made clear that it is essential that the legislation to fund the government adheres to the funding levels agreed to by both parties last year, and not include ideological or extraneous policy riders.”