Congress Averts Government Shutdown

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March 21, 2013 6:54 a.m.

The House on Thursday passed a bipartisan measure to continue funding the government through September, averting a shutdown one week before the lights would go out.

The final vote was 318-109 — 115 Democrats joined 203 Republicans to pass the bill.

The legislation, which passed the Senate by a vote of 73-26 on Wednesday, now goes to President Obama for his signature.

The continuing resolution sustains the lower spending levels under sequestration but provides flexibility to the Pentagon and a handful of domestic programs in an effort to avoid some of the worst impacts of the automatic, indiscriminate spending cuts. It was the product of bipartisan negotiations to address the top priorities of each party.

The passage of the bill, a full week before the deadline, reflects a desire among both sides to avoid a government shutdown. Republicans demanded spending limits but refraining from pushing poison-pill amendments that have previously threatened shutdowns.

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