Congress passes spending bill, averts government shutdown

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress again averted a government shutdown — with less than hour to spare.

The vote in the Senate late Friday night was 63-36 for a stopgap spending bill that will keep the government operating through April 28. Funding was going to expire at midnight Friday.

The bill provides disaster relief to Louisiana after summer flooding and $10.1 billion in emergency war-fighting money for the Pentagon. It also expedites the process for confirming President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for defense secretary, retired Marine Gen. James Mattis.

Passage of the bill came after coal-state Democrats relented and accepted a short-term fix for providing health care benefits for retired miners.