The House passed a second short-term measure to fund the government Tuesday in a 271-158 vote. There were defections from 54 conservative lawmakers who called for deeper cuts. Republicans needed 29 Democratic votes to win passage.

That vote was seen as a sign that support for temporary spending measures is waning, given that the lower chamber passed the first measure earlier this month by an overwhelming 335-91 vote. The earlier measure expires after March 18.

The Senate could vote on the second stopgap as soon as Wednesday. 

House Republicans and Senate Democrats have been negotiating a long-term measure to fund the rest of 2011 fiscal year. The House passed a budget plan in late February, but the Senate failed to pass that measure. The upper chamber also failed to approve a Democratic spending measure, sending both parties back to the negotiating table.