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Senate dodges government shutdown…again

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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.

senate The Senate was in and working on Saturday, and held a vote to dodge a government shutdown in the afternoon.

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.

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