All right, members of the 112th United States Congress, if you keep saying you’re about to have a total political meltdown and then nothing happens, we’re going to stop believing you. Once again, the fearsome government shutdown was avoided Thursday when squabbling factions on Capitol Hill were able to come to a compromise over a contested spending bill. This sequence of events involved a stunning GOP victory over Democrats and their big-government-o-philia in the crucial area of school lunch regulation. –KA

AP via SF Gate:

The votes occurred against a backdrop of partisan gridlock among members of Congress’ supercommittee, which has less than a week to try agreeing to a debt-reduction plan. Some Republicans on that panel have been pushing to include some tax increases as part of a deal, and that has upset some Republicans adamant against abandoning the party’s core stance against boosting levies.

Democrats supported the measure overwhelmingly, with only 20 in the House and none in the Senate voting “no.” Liberals mocked a provision blocking Obama administration efforts to prod schools to put healthier foods on their lunch menus, including a proposal to no longer consider the tomato paste on pizza to be a vegetable.

“What’s next? Are Twinkies going to be considered a vegetable?” said Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo., who voted against passage.

Despite the objections, passage was never in real doubt. Both parties were eager to avoid further tarnishing Congress’ ghastly public image, which took a beating after partisan standoffs nearly caused a government shutdown this past spring and a federal default in the summer.

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