U.S. Senate passes bill to fund government through December 11 and avert shutdown

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Senate approved on Wednesday a temporary funding bill to keep the government open through Dec. 11, sending the measure to President Donald Trump for signing into law.

Government funding runs out at midnight Wednesday (0400 GMT on Thursday). The legislation, which had previously passed the House of Representatives, and passed the Senate on a vote of 84-10, continues funding most programs at current levels.

Assuming Trump signs the bill, it will avoid a government shutdown in the middle of a pandemic and ahead of the Nov. 3 U.S. elections.

All 10 senators voting against the bill were Republicans.

The measure generally maintains current spending levels and gives lawmakers more time to work out budget details for the fiscal year that ends on Sept. 30 2021, including for military operations, healthcare, national parks, space programs, and airport and border security.

The legislation’s Dec. 11 end date will require Congress to return to the government funding question again during its post-election lame-duck session, after what is likely to be a bruising fight over whether to confirm Trump’s third Supreme Court nominee, Amy Coney Barrett.

(Reporting by Richard Cowan; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and David Gregorio)

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