Bush Likely to Sign CR
President Bush is expected to sign the continuing resolution passed by Congress, according to a White House official. The CR would fund the government until March 6, possibly eliminating the need for a lame-duck session While the continuing resolution keeps the government funded into the next fiscal year, it also stands as a reminder of the failure of the Democratic Congress to fund the government in regular order by passing authorization and appropriations bills and sending them to the president, the official said. One benefit of this broken process is the agreement to discontinue the moratoria on exploration and drilling in the Outer Continental Shelf and allowing access to western oil shale reserves. Ending these moratoria puts the United States one step closer to ending our dependence on foreign sources of energy. The official declined to discuss the prospects of a lame duck, saying the focus is on finishing legislation on the table this weekend. But White House aides have recently been hopeful that a lame duck would allow Congress to take up remaining Bush priorities, particularly the Colombia free-trade agreement. White House officials have been hopeful that, even if a CR extends into next year, Congress might leave enough unfinished business of its own to force it to reconvene in December.