WASHINGTON Jan 15 The U.S. Senate overwhelmingly approved a three-day funding extension that will stave off a government shutdown at midnight on Wednesday and buy extra time to pass a $1.1 trillion spending bill for fiscal 2014.
The 86-14 vote in the Democratic-controlled Senate sends the stop-gap measure to President Barack Obama to be signed into law. It comes as the Republican-controlled House of Representatives began consideration of the full-year, "omnibus" spending bill, which will fund government agencies and programs through Sept. 30.
Under the extension, Congress now has until midnight Saturday to pass that bill, which aims to ease some of the automatic, "sequester" spending cuts by providing an additional $45 billion in funding for military and domestic programs. It fleshes out a budget deal passed in December following a 16-day government shutdown in October over government funding disputes in Congress.