Shutdown averted as Senate passes bill to fund government

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.
(Image credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The Senate on Thursday night passed a bill funding the federal government, avoiding a shutdown that would have started at midnight Friday.

The vote was 69-28. The House passed the measure Thursday evening, and it now heads to President Biden for his signature. The bill funds the government through Feb. 18, and sets aside $7 billion in aid for refugees from Afghanistan.

Some conservative Republicans had said they would block the measure in protest over vaccine requirements for large companies, but their opposition wasn't enough to keep the bill from going through. "I am glad that in the end, cooler heads prevailed," Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said. "The government will stay open and I thank the members of this chamber for walking us back from the brink of an avoidable, needless, and costly shutdown."

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