Shutdown averted for now as Congress extends US funding

US Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid attend a ceremony at the US Capitol, Washington, DC, December 10, 2014The US Senate gave itself four additional days to pass a $1.1 trillion federal spending bill, easing the threat of a government shutdown that was looming at midnight. Amid deep divisions between Republicans and Democrats over how to proceed on funding government through September, feuding lawmakers unanimously passed a measure that extends funds to late Wednesday. The extension was the second passed by Congress in as many days as leaders struggle to finalize the spending bill and bid farewell to the 113th Congress, one of the least productive sessions in modern history. It faces a procedural test vote at 1:00 am (0600 GMT) Sunday, and is then expected to pass the Senate on Monday and head to President Barack Obama’s desk for his signature.

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