Congress Passes Bill to Avoid Gov't. Shutdown

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Congress has passed a measure that will keep the government up and running through the rest of the fiscal year, ending the threat of a potential government shut down.

The House passed the bill in a 318-109 vote, sending the measure to President Obama to be signed into law.

On Wednesday, The Senate approved a $984 billion continuing resolution bill to avoid a March 27 government shutdown by a 73-26 vote.

Members of the Senate tried to include budget amendments to soften the impact of those across-the-board spending cuts. Most failed.

However, the bill does spare federal meat inspectors from furloughs.

"Backlogs in food inspections could result in the shutdown of processing facilities and send devastating ripple effects through rural communities and straight to the shelves of every market and grocery in the country," Sen. Christopher Coons, D-Del., said.

Right now, the sequester cuts remain in place, and there is talk more than 100 smaller air traffic facilities being closed. Democrats are still pushing to reverse the cuts.

Meanwhile, there will be no tours at the White House any time soon.

Republicans in the Senate tried to get them started again, but Democrats voted down a measure that was part of a government spending plan.

Republicans say closing down the tours was just a political move to make the recent spending cuts look worse than they are.

Many conservatives have pointed to other areas where wasteful spending could be cut without any real harm to the public.

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