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Senate passes bill to prevent government shutdown, sends it to Biden

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A man runs in front of the U.S. Capitol building during morning hours in Washington, U.S., February 10, 2022.
Brendan McDermid | Reuters

The Senate passed a short-term government funding bill, sending it to President Joe Biden’s desk hours before a shutdown deadline.

The measure, which passed with a 65-27 vote, will keep the government running through March 11. Congress had to approve a spending plan before the end of the day Friday.

Lawmakers hope to buy enough time to pass legislation that would fund federal operations through Sept. 30. Earlier this month, appropriators announced an agreement on a framework for long-term spending.

They will still have to negotiate spending details and approve legislation before the next shutdown deadline in three weeks.

Government shutdowns can lead to furloughs of some federal workers and the suspension of certain services. They can also hamper the economy.

Congress has kept the lights on through several stopgap measures since September. Lawmakers have often used continuing resolutions, which fund the government at previously approved levels for a set period of time, in recent years when they cannot agree on full-year spending plans.

Washington appeared unwilling to risk a shutdown during a midterm election year and at a time when the U.S. is trying to deter a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The Senate passed the legislation before a planned weeklong recess.

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