The U.S. Senate approved a two-week budget extension on Wednesday that will allow congressional Republicans and Democrats additional time to negotiate how big budget cuts should be until September 30, the end of the 2011 fiscal year.

The 91-9 vote was expected, after the House approved the extension yesterday. The bill will now be sent to President Barack Obama, who is expected to sign the continuing resolution into law.

The bill will cut $4 billion from the budget. It extends funding at 2010 levels until March 18.

Lawmakers had a March 4 deadline to avert a government shutdown. Both Democrat and Republican leaders had said they wanted to avoid that scenario, although they are clearly split on how big cuts to the FY 2011 budget should be.

Republicans had sought a $62 billion cut compared to President Barack Obama's multi-trillion dollar proposal. Democrats rejected that proposal, setting up the need for the stop gap measure which passed Wednesday.

Congress did not pass a year-long budget last year after Democrats and Republicans failed to agree on one.