U.S. Senate approves funding bill to avert government shutdown

WASHINGTON, March 20 Wed Mar 20, 2013 4:49pm EDT

WASHINGTON, March 20 (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate on Wednesday approved a bill to avert a government shutdown next week by keeping agencies and discretionary programs funded through the fiscal year ending on Sept. 30.

The measure, approved by a 73-26 vote, must go back to the House of Representatives for final approval. It keeps in place $85 billion in automatic spending cuts, but it offers the military and some domestic agencies more flexibility to shift funds within these reduced budgets to higher-priority programs.

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