The Senate, acting shortly after the House, voted 81 to 19 to pass a continuing resolution funding the federal government through the end of September, effectively ending a months-long fight that nearly shut down the government this week.
President Obama is expected to sign the bill by Friday, but Washington has already moved on to bigger spending battles, with a critical vote to raise the federal debt limit, the FY12 budget and long-term deficit reduction all in play.
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The six-month bill, which funds the government for the rest of this fiscal year, is the product of a last minute deal last Friday. It will cut about $38.5 billion from current spending levels, though critics argue accounting gimmicks leave the real reductions far smaller.
Vocal opposition from some conservatives and at least one liberal, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., never amounted to a real threat in the Senate, where support from the leadership of both parties assured passage. Despite criticism, opponents like Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., passed on filibustering the bill and instead allowed a quick vote on Thursday following House passage a few hours earlier.