Senate Passes Spending Bill, Avoids Shutdown

Temporary measure cuts $4 billion, will last 2 weeks
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 2, 2011 10:59 AM CST
Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo. looks on at left as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., talks to the media on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, March 1, 2011.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

(Newser) – Congress is sending President Obama a Republican-drafted bill to trim $4 billion from the budget to keep the government running for two more weeks. The Senate cleared the measure by an overwhelming 91-9 vote that gives the GOP an early but modest victory in its drive to rein in government. Obama has until Friday to sign the measure and avert a government shutdown.

The legislation buys time for Obama, the GOP-dominated House, and the Democratic-led Senate to start talks on legislation to fund the government through the end of September. House Republicans last month muscled through a measure cutting this year's budget by more than $60 billion. The White House has promised a veto and it will take weeks or months to find a compromise that Obama would sign.

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