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U.S. Senate votes to avert government shutdown


08:51, March 21, 2013

WASHINGTON, March 20 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Senate on Wednesday voted to approve a legislation to avoid a shutdown of the federal government before a two-week recess of lawmakers.

By a vote of 73-26, the upper chamber of Congress approved the stopgap government spending bill, also known as a continuing resolution in U.S. government budget language.

Without such legislation to be passed by two chambers of Congress, the U.S. federal government will run out of money on March 27. The bill keeps the 85 billion U.S. dollars spending cuts in the 2013 fiscal year ending on Sept. 30, the so-called " sequester."

The House of Representatives, the lower chamber of Congress, was expected to take up the measure quickly to avert a government shutdown. U.S. Congress is scheduled to start a two-week recess Friday.

The Senate passage of the short-term funding bill allowed it to shift its focus on passing the 2014 fiscal year spending budget of the federal government. The Republican-led House and Democratic- controlled Senate each proposed a budget earlier this month, which are unlikely to be passed by the other chamber due to divisions of the two budgets.

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