U.S. Congress passes substitute spending bill ahead of gov’t shutdown deadline

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Photo taken on March 19, 2020 shows U.S. dollar banknotes in Washington D.C., the United States. The Trump administration's plan to send Americans relief money as part of a massive stimulus package in response to COVID-19 could be 1,000 U.S. dollars per person, and 500 dollars per child, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Thursday. (Xinhua/Liu Jie)
Photo taken on March 19, 2020 shows U.S. dollar banknotes in Washington D.C., the United States. The Trump administration's plan to send Americans relief money as part of a massive stimulus package in response to COVID-19 could be 1,000 U.S. dollars per person, and 500 dollars per child, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Thursday. (Xinhua/Liu Jie)

The U.S. Congress on Wednesday approved a stopgap spending bill, averting a government shutdown just two days before funding expires for federal agencies.

The Senate voted 87-11 to pass the bill, one day after the measure cleared the House in a 336-95 vote.

The bill would extend funding for some agencies and programs at current levels until Jan. 19 and others through Feb. 2, without major funding cuts that Republican conservatives had demanded.

The bill does not include additional aid for Israel or Ukraine, which has been a point of contention among lawmakers.

The legislation marks an early success for Mike Johnson, who was elected the speaker of the House in late October following three weeks of chaos as Republicans struggled to find a replacement after the historical ouster of Kevin McCarthy.

The bill will next go to President Joe Biden, who is expected to sign it soon.

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