A fast-moving afternoon session led to passage of a bill that will prevent a government shutdown.
In a fast-moving afternoon session March 20, the U.S. Senate passed a continuing resolution to keep government funded through the current fiscal year.
The measure, technically a substitute amendment to a continuing resolution passed by the House of Representatives, contains appropriations for several government departments including Justice, Commerce, Homeland Security and Agriculture. The original House bill funded Defense, Veterans Affairs and military construction. Remaining government functions will be funded by continuing resolution at FY 2012 levels.
The bill preserves the across-the-board cuts in the Budget Control Act of 2011, known as sequestration.
An amendment to shift $55 million in USDA funds to prevent furloughs of meat and poultry inspectors passed on a voice vote. An amendment to shift some funding out of a Pentagon biofuels program and into the operations and maintenance budget failed.
The House appears poised to take up the bill quickly, while the Senate plans to pivot to a debate on a budget for 2014.
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