Bill to avert government shutdown clears US Senate hurdle
Washington - Legislation to avert a shutdown of the US government next week passed a procedural vote to limit further debate late Monday, clearing the way for vote on the measure on Tuesday.Ten Republicans joined the majority in the 63-35 vote, which Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said indicated that it would be assured passage by the full Senate, according to the political news website Politico.
Once the Senate acts, the bill is expected to go to the House floor, possibly as early as Thursday, news reports said. It would then require President Barack Obama’s signature to become law.
The bill is a short-term deal to fund the government through the rest of the budget year and it averts a government shutdown due to get into effect March 27.
It keeps in place 85 billion dollars in spending cuts for the current fiscal year. Those cuts went into effect March 1 under the so-called sequestration. But under the bill, agencies have new flexibility in implementing the cuts.
The next task for Congress will be to forge an agreement on the US government’s budget for the fiscal year that begins October 1.//DPA