WASHINGTON, D.C.: After months of trading blows over the federal budget, Congress and the President have stumbled into a continuing resolution bill that will carry the government to the next round. Thousands of federal employees were to be laid off at midnight Friday, for the third time in as many months, until both sides made eleventh-hour concessions. The House on Thursday passed a bill to keep the government running through March 15. "We've got to be patient; you don't always get what you want," said freshman Republican Representative Mark Foley, a member of the renegade class which had previously refused to compromise. And despite the fact that there are program cutbacks in the bill that the Democrats don't like, including a $3.1 billion cut in education funding, President Clinton promised to sign it.