Lawmakers Approve Bill to Avoid Gov't Shutdown

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The Senate has passed legislation meant to prevent a partial shutdown of the government when temporary funding expires on Friday.

House Republicans overwhelmingly passed the same bill Tuesday.  Now, the legislation heads to President Barack Obama's desk for his signature.

The GOP's stopgap bill will keep the government running for two weeks and buy more time for longer-term budget negotiations between the Republican House, the Democratic Senate and President Barack Obama.

Republicans want to cut over $60 billion from agency budgets over coming months as a down payment on larger cuts this year. However, they are settling for just $4 billion in easy cuts as the price for the stopgap bill.

Democrats have threatened to block Republican efforts to cut the massive federal deficit.

"Providing only 14 days for all parties to resolve their differences on a full-year measure is not realistic," said Rep. Norm Dicks, D-Wash., the top Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee. "Setting up a shutdown crisis every two weeks disrupts the continuity of good government operations and long-term planning. It is not a responsible way to govern."

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