Congress will explore the possibility of continuing funding federal programs next fiscal year at fiscal 2008 levels or put off enacting 2009 funding bills until a new president takes office in order to prevent White House proposed cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency, members of a Senate funding panel said yesterday.

"I'd like to talk with my colleagues [but] we will certainly consider" extending 2008 funding levels through the next fiscal year, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., chairman of the Senate Appropriations environment subcommittee, said after a hearing on President Bush's fiscal 2009 EPA funding request.

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