The Senate on Wednesday approved legislation that prevents a government shutdown and allows the upper chamber to begin work on passing a budget.
In a 73-26 vote, the Senate approved a $984 billion continuing resolution that keeps the government funded through the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30. The House is expected to approve the bill before adjourning on Thursday.
More than 20 Republicans and Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) voted against the measure.
The spending bill includes the same funding levels as legislation already approved by the House, and would keep the $85 billion in automatic spending cuts known as sequestration.
Passage allowed the upper chamber to immediately pivot to the budget offered by Senate Democrats, which, if approved, would be the first Senate budget in four years. Dozens of amendments are expected to be considered, but by moving to the budget on Wednesday, the Senate has a shot of completing its work before the weekend.
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