The Senate voted Saturday afternoon to pass a short-term continuing resolution that will keep the federal government open through Wednesday, Dec. 17.
Passage of the resolution — which the House approved on Friday — lets Congress dodge a government shutdown that was due to take place at the end of the day Saturday.
It also gives the Senate several more days to work through the problems it's had passing a $1 trillion bill that would fund most federal agencies through the end of fiscal year 2015.
That longer-term bill continues to face hurdles in the Senate, where Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) have said they can't support it until they are allowed to vote on an amendment that would defund President Barack Obama's executive action on immigration.
Late Friday night, Cruz lodged a constitutional challenge against the long-term spending bill because it funds actions that he said violate the Constitution. When Democrats asked for an agreement to hold a final vote on the spending bill — without any vote on immigration — Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) objected, which helped force the Senate into a rare Saturday session.
Those moves were aimed at finding a way to force Democrats to allow a vote on language to defund Obama's immigration plan, something that had not happened as of mid-Saturday afternoon.
Congress has now avoided two possible government shutdowns. The first was avoided Thursday night with a short-term spending bill that lasted through the end of Saturday.