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Archive for Saturday, March 7, 2009

Congress OKs bill to keep government open

March 7, 2009

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— With a $410 billion catchall spending bill stalled in the Senate and a midnight deadline looming, Congress rushed through stopgap legislation Friday to keep the government running for another five days.

The House passed the bill by a 328-50 vote; the Senate acted by unanimous voice vote. President Barack Obama signed the measure later in the day, White House officials said early Friday evening.

The stopgap measure was needed because on Thursday night, Senate Republicans unexpectedly put the brakes on the sweeping measure. The so-called omnibus bill would award domestic agencies with big spending increases and it also contains about 8,000 pet projects sought by lawmakers.

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