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    Congress Approves Short-Term Extension to Avoid Shutdown, Buy More Time for Final Spending Agreement

    Congress Approves Short-Term Extension to Avoid Shutdown, Buy More Time for Final Spending Agreement

    — Congress passed another short-term spending measure Thursday that would keep one set of federal agencies operating through March 8 and another set through March 22, avoiding a shutdown for parts of the federal government that would otherwise kick in Saturday. The bill now goes to President Joe Biden to be signed into law.

    The short-term extension is the fourth in recent months, and many lawmakers expect it to be the last for the current fiscal year. House Speaker Mike Johnson said negotiators had completed six of the annual spending bills that fund federal agencies and had “almost final agreement on the others.”

    “We'll get the job done,” Johnson said as he exited a closed-door meeting with Republican colleagues.

    The House acted first Thursday. The vote to approve the extension was 320-99. It easily cleared the two-thirds majority needed for passage. Democrats overwhelmingly voted to avert a partial shutdown. But the vote was much more divided with Republicans, 113 in support and 97 against.

    The Senate then took up the bill and approved it during an evening vote of 77-13.

    “When we pass this bill, we will have, thank God, avoided a shutdown with all its harmful effects on the American people,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said moments before the vote.

    Biden called Thursday night's vote “good news for the American people” but added, “I want to be clear: this is a short-term fix — not a…

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