Senate passes stopgap bill to prevent shutdown

The Senate voted 86-14 Wednesday to approve a short-term continuing resolution (CR) that keeps the government funded through Saturday.

The White House has said President Obama will sign the stopgap bill, which was passed to give Congress a few more days to pass a sweeping omnibus that will fund the government for the rest of 2014.

Obama has to sign the bill by midnight to prevent a government shutdown.

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More than 25 GOP senators voted for the CR Wednesday, including all of the Senate Republican leadership team. The vote could indicate a strong show of support for the $1.1 trillion omnibus bill, when it comes up for a vote later this week.

The House passed the stopgap bill measure by voice vote on Tuesday with little debate and is poised Wednesday to approve the $1 trillion omnibus spending bill.

House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) and his Senate counterpart Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) negotiated the omnibus spending bill.

"As of today, the money that keeps the government operational expires," Mikulski said ahead of the Senate vote. "I ask the Senate to pass this short-term extension because it is a technical situation. This isn’t the usual delay, drama, fiscal-cliff situation." 

The omnibus is the first fully detailed appropriations bill before Congress since 2011, and the government has been operating on variations on stopgaps since then. 

The large spending bill fleshes out the $1.012 trillion budget accord forged by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) in December.

Despite some conservatives balking at the fact that the deal spends $45 billion more than the budget cap set in 2011, many will support final passage of the measure.

The omnibus allows for a 1 percent pay hike for federal workers but freezes pay for the vice president and senior political officials. It also includes more money for the Head Start program but rolls back funding for an ObamaCare preventive health program by $1 billion.

Republicans were also able to delay new energy efficiency standards on light bulbs, limiting government travel and conferences, and prohibiting the Internal Revenue Service from targeting people based on their political beliefs.

In changes welcomed by both parties, it also restores a $600 million cut to veterans with disabilities and prohibits the U.S. Postal Service from ending Saturday mail service.

— Erik Wasson contributed to this article.