US Congress Gives Final Approval For $1.1 Trillion Spending Bill; President Obama Expected To Sign Bill Into Law Before Saturday Midnight DeadlineTo Avert Budget Cuts And Shutdown

on January 17 2014 1:15 AM
US Capitol
The U.S. Capitol is photographed behind a chain fence in Washington on Sept. 30, 2013. Reuters/Kevin Lamarque

The United States Congress gave its final approval to the $1.1 trillion spending bill on Thursday, media reports said, averting a government shutdown until Oct. 1.

On Thursday evening, the Senate voted 72-26 to approve the measure, which passed the House easily earlier this week, after Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) was persuaded to abandon a last-minute attempt to force another showdown over the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, the Washington Post reported.

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who voted against the spending bill, said it was a "shameful way to do business," USA Today reported. "We cannot continue this process where massive, un-amendable, thousand-plus page spending bills totaling trillions of dollars are voted on two days after being made available to members of this body," he said.

The next fiscal obstacle for lawmakers to clear before mid-term elections in the fall is that of raising the debt limit, and there is some confusion on the timeline for this action, the Post reported.

According to the report, Republican leaders seem to believe that the Treasury Department can manage until May without fresh borrowing authority while Treasury Secretary Jack Lew repeated his warning that lawmakers need to act by late February.

Meanwhile, President Barack Obama is expected to sign the spending bill into law before Saturday’s midnight deadline, when federal funding runs out, to prevent yet another government shutdown.

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