There will be no repeat of a partial shutdown at the Federal Aviation Administration, as the Congress last night did what the Congress does best, kicking the can down the road on the FAA and a major highway and transportation bill.
After several days of threats to delay yet another extension of those two items, the Senate easily approved the plan on a vote of 92-6, with six Republicans voting against the extensions.
The federal highway programs would be extended until March 31 of next year; the FAA extension last through January 31, 2012.
Unfortunately, these type of extensions have become almost standard operating procedure for the underlying FAA law, which has now been extended 22 times over the last four years.
The highway bill has now been extended eight different times over the last two-plus years.
One other major law also expires at the end of this month, that being the Flood Insurance program; House Republicans have written an extension of that into a stop-gap budget plan that will be considered next week.
Also this year, the Congress has extended three expiring provisions of the anti-terror Patriot Act, there has been an "emergency" extension of the Small Business Administration bill and more.
Those temporary plans are a perfect example of how Congress has come to embrace the short-term extension as almost a standard way of doing business.
Congress extended the budget seven times from October of 2010 to mid-April of 2011 before finally finishing that spending work, and only after narrowly missing a government shutdown.
While the fiscal year runs out at the end of the month, lawmakers only have next week to finish work on a temporary budget plan, because both the House and Senate are out of session that final week of this month.
So, that "Continuing Resolution" or "CR" will have to be finished next week.
House Republicans unveiled a plan this week which lowers spending by 1.4% overall, not anywhere close to what budget hawks want.
It also includes a number of legislative extras - not pork - but policy matters, which could trigger objections from Democrats in the Senate.
By waiting until next Tuesday to approve the plan, Republicans will give Democrats in the Senate precious little time to get that bill to the floor and past any parliamentary objections.