Senate backs spending bill, averts government shutdown

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(Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congress has averted a government shutdown, with less than hour to spare.

The vote in the Senate late Friday night was 63-36 for a stopgap spending bill that will keep the government operating through April 28.

The bill provides disaster relief to Louisiana after summer flooding and $10.1 billion in emergency war-fighting money for the Pentagon. It expedites the process for confirming President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for defense secretary, retired Gen. James Mattis.

Passage of the bill came after coal-state Democrats relented and accepted a short-term fix for providing health care benefits for retired miners.