US Senate passes bill to avoid shutdown

Bill to fund government operations from October 1 to November 15 passed and sent to House of Representatives.

    Reid said the bill would send a message to radical Republicans on trying to thwart government [Getty Images/ AFP]
    Reid said the bill would send a message to radical Republicans on trying to thwart government [Getty Images/ AFP]

    The US Senate has passed and sent to the House of Representatives a bill to fund government operations from October 1 to November 15 to avert agency shutdowns.

    No Republicans voted to pass the emergency funding measure on Friday.

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat, said passing the bill would "send a message to radical Republicans" that they should stop standing in the way of operating the government by trying to first gut the US healthcare law also referred to as 'Obamacare'.

    Meanwhile, business groups, including the US Chamber of Commerce, urged Congress to promptly pass the spending bill and raise the limit on government borrowing.

    The 79-19 vote to end debate on the Senate bill was a defeat for Republican Senator Ted Cruz, who tried to tie up the Senate all week with demands that government funds be denied until President Barack Obama's healthcare law was stalled.

    Fewer than half of his fellow Republicans supported him.

    The bill faces rough going in the House, with many Republicans wanting to again attach an 'Obamacare amendment' or other measure that Democrats would declare a poison pill.

    Such a move by the House could result in deadlock and put the federal government closer to a shutdown on Tuesday, which would likely result in up to 800,000 federal employees being furloughed.


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