WASHINGTON Washington's battles over government funding ended with a whimper on Thursday as the U.S. Senate approved a $1.1 trillion spending bill that quells for nearly nine months the threat of another federal agency shutdown.
The measure, which funds thousands of government programs from the military to national parks through the September 30 fiscal year-end, passed by a strong, 72-26 majority. President Barack Obama is expected to sign it into law.
The vote came exactly three months after the end of a 16-day government shutdown in October that was waged over disputed funding of "Obamacare," the president's signature health care law.
"We're a little late, but we have gotten the job done," said Senate Appropriations Committee Barbara Mikulski said on the Senate floor.