Speed Reads

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Senate passes short-term bill to avert government shutdown

The Senate on Thursday evening passed a short-term funding bill, averting a government shutdown.

Government funding was set to run out at midnight Friday, and this bill will keep things running until March 11. Lawmakers are hoping by that point, negotiators will have finalized agreements for a package of funding bills to last through September.

"We're coming along," Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) said Thursday. "We're coming along. I think there's a good chance we'll make it. If we keep working in a bipartisan way, which we've been doing the last week or two, maybe we'll get there."

To quickly pass the stopgap funding bill, Democrats went along with Republican requests to hold three amendment votes. The amendments — one to keep the Biden administration from enforcing vaccine mandates for federal workers and the military; another to stop giving federal money to schools and child care centers that require kids to receive COVID-19 vaccinations; and a third that would make it harder for Congress to raise taxes — were all rejected.