The US Senate approved a short-term budget bill
Wednesday that would remove the looming threat of a government
shutdown by funding the US government through the end of the year.
The Senate measure passed 73-26.
The measure would extend spending authority through the budget year ending September 30. It maintains 85 billion dollars in across-the-board austerity measures that took effect this month.
An earlier version of the bill was approved by the lower House of Representatives, and the bill must now be considered again in the House because of changes made in the upper chamber. President Barack Obama has indicated he would sign the funding measures into law, despite his opposition to the cuts they maintain.
Congress has been under pressure to produce a bill because if a short-term funding bill cannot be agreed to before March 27, the government would run out of money to pay for its operations. To avert a government shutdown Congress has had to pass a series of short-term measures because it did not pass a year-long budget.
The threat of a government shutdown is the latest in a series of budgetary standoffs between Republicans, who control the House of Representatives, and Obama and his Democratic Party, which controls the Senate.
The sides now turn to consideration of a 2014 budget, which could see fireworks over government spending cuts and Democrats' demands for higher taxes.
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