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Senate votes to avert shutdown with last-minute deal — bill goes to Biden

The US government is set to avoid a disastrous shut down, after the Senate voted to approve a short-term funding bill Saturday night hours after the House approved the measure, according to CSPAN.

The Senate approved the stopgap funding measure, known as a continuing resolution, or CR, by a final vote of 88-9.

It will now head to President Joe Biden, who is expected to sign it and end the threat of much of the federal government shutting down.

“I have very good news for the country. Democrats and republicans have come to an agreement and the government will remain open,” Sen. Leader Chuck Schumer. “We will have avoided a shutdown.

“Bipartisanship, which has been the trademark of the senate, prevailed and the American people can breathe a sigh of relief,” he added.

The bill had overwhelmingly passed in the  House of Representatives 335-91 hours earlier after Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) dropped demands from his GOP colleagues for massive spending cuts, and instead relied on rare support from across the aisle.

The deal will increase federal disaster assistance by $16 billion and keep the government open until at least November 17 — however it notably did not include new funding to Ukraine that was proposed under an earlier plan, which became a point of contention among Senate Democrats.

Before the vote, Sen. Michael Bennet [R-Colo.] objected to the stop gap measure over concerns of the lack of funding for Ukraine, CNN reported.

The bill’s passage ensures that thousands of federal workers will avoid furloughs and nonessential government programs will remain up and running Saturday’s deal. Additionally, more than 2 million active-duty reserve military troops won’t have to work without pay with a deal struck.

House Republicans’ previous short-term proposals had fallen flat amid objections both Democrats and some GOP hardliners.

Republican holdouts argued that a CR is essentially an extension of the previous Democratically-held Congress’ priorities, and slap to the House GOP majority’s vow to pass 12 individual spending bills laying out conservative priorities in the next fiscal year.

The last-minute deal came together just one day after 21 House Republicans joined a united bloc of Democrats to reject a one-month continuing resolution that would have allowed the government to keep operating with 30% cuts in discretionary spending for everything but defense and veterans’ agencies.

McCarthy — whose slender 4-vote majority was overwhelmed by Friday’s defections — had publicly pleaded with his caucus to support the stopgap measure, which included several provisions on border security as a sweetener for conservatives.

President Biden had pledged to veto the continuing resolution if it reached his desk. Biden is, however, expected to to sign Saturday’s stop gap measure.