The Senate on Wednesday approved legislation that prevents a government shutdown and allows the upper chamber to begin work on passing a budget.

In a 73-26 vote, the Senate approved a $984 billion continuing resolution that keeps the government funded through the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30. The House is expected to approve the bill before adjourning on Thursday.

Twenty-five Republicans and Sen. Jon TesterJonathan (Jon) TesterThe Hill's Morning Report: 200 Days to the Election Koch network targets Tester with new six-figure ad buy Senators grill alleged robocall kingpin MORE (D-Mont.) voted against the measure.

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The spending bill includes the same funding levels as legislation already approved by the House, and would keep the $85 billion in automatic spending cuts known as sequestration.

Passage allowed the upper chamber to immediately pivot to the budget offered by Senate Democrats, which, if approved, would be the first Senate budget in four years. Dozens of amendments are expected to be considered, but by moving to the budget on Wednesday, the Senate has a shot of completing its work before the weekend.

Without the deal, a final vote on the continuing resolution would have been scheduled for Thursday afternoon, and Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidDems walk tightrope on Pompeo nomination The Memo: Teens rankle the right with gun activism Dems to party: Go on offense with Trump’s alleged affairs MORE (D-Nev.) had warned he would not let senators go home until work on the budget is completed.

The funding vote moved forward after a deal on amendments between Reid and Senate Republicans.

Several GOP amendments were considered, but Sens. Jerry MoranGerald (Jerry) MoranOvernight Finance: Senate repeals auto-lending guidance, shattering precedent with vote | House passes IRS reform bills | Senate GOP fears tax cut sequel Senate repeals auto-loan guidance in precedent-shattering vote Overnight Finance: Officials downplay Trump comments on trade, China currency | Fed official defends moves on bank regulation | Russia sanctions snag pits Kudlow against Haley | IRS deals with Tax Day tech trouble MORE (R-Kan.) and Kelly AyotteKelly Ann AyotteAudit finds US Defense Department wasted hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars US sends A-10 squadron to Afghanistan for first time in three years No, the US did not spend million on a gas station in Afghanistan MORE (R-N.H.) dropped their insistence on continuing debate into Thursday unless they got votes on their proposed amendments.

The deal announced Wednesday doesn't eliminate the possibility of weekend votes, but it does make it more likely that the Senate could complete work on the budget sometime on Friday.

Reid threatens to keep the Senate in session on the weekend, but rarely follows through. However, the threats this week were seen as realistic given his determination to not go into the recess without a budget. House Republicans are set to approve their budget Thursday, and Reid wanted to avoid a scenario where Democrats would be without a budget for a two-week recess.

The Senate government-funding bill, negotiated by Senate Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Barbara MikulskiBarbara Ann MikulskiDems ponder gender politics of 2020 nominee Robert Mueller's forgotten surveillance crime spree Clinton: White House slow-walking Russia sanctions MORE (D-Md.) and ranking member Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), added three full appropriations measures to the House version, but retained the funding levels of the House bill.

While the House’s measure funded Defense, Military Construction and Veterans Affairs programs, the Senate version adds specific appropriations for Agriculture, Homeland Security and the Commerce, Justice and Science funds.

The original House version added $2 billion for embassy security in the wake of last September’s attacks on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, and provides $363 million in additional funding for nuclear security and $129 million more for FBI salaries, among other things.

It retains a pay freeze for federal workers and does not provide funding for the healthcare law, two provisions that provoked some grumbling from Democrats.

Several amendments were added to the Senate bill, including measures to prevent cuts to tuition assistance to members of the military and to ensure food inspectors are not furloughed.

In a vote last week, Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainHeitkamp becomes first Dem to back Pompeo for secretary of State Senate committee sets Monday vote even as Pompeo appears to lack support Trump checkmates Democrats in sending Pompeo to North Korea MORE’s (R-Ariz.) amendment to remove a $140 million earmark to Guam was approved after he pointed out that the National Defense Authorization Act passed last year removed that funding.


A list of the other amendments that passed follows: 

- Sen. James InhofeJames (Jim) Mountain InhofeDems give muted praise to Pompeo-Kim meeting Overnight Energy: Former Pruitt aide alleges more wasteful spending, retaliation | Senate confirms EPA No. 2 | Zinke backs off big park fee increases Senate approves Trump’s pick for No. 2 at EPA MORE's (R-Okla.) amendment that would delay enforcement of an Environmental Protection Agency rule against farms on oil spill regulations from the end of May to the end of September by prohibiting use of funding for the Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure rule.

- Inhofe and Sen. Kay HaganKay Ruthven Hagan2020 Dems compete for top campaign operatives Senate GOP rejects Trump’s call to go big on gun legislation Politics is purple in North Carolina MORE (D-N.C.) amendment would ensure funding for tuition assistance of Armed Service members, which was threatened under sequestration.

- Sen. Tom CoburnThomas (Tom) Allen CoburnPension insolvency crisis only grows as Congress sits on its hands Paul Ryan should realize that federal earmarks are the currency of cronyism Republicans in Congress shouldn't try to bring back earmarks MORE’s (R-Okla.) amendment 65 would direct the National Science Foundation to fund research that is in the interest of national security.

- Coburn amendment 70 would require all Department of Homeland Security-related reports issued to the Senate Appropriations Committee also be given to the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

- Mikulski and Shelby's amendment to make technical-corrections to the language of the bill.

- Sen. Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahyCongress should build on the momentum from spending bill Overnight Tech: Zuckerberg grilled by lawmakers over data scandal | What we learned from marathon hearing | Facebook hit with class action lawsuit | Twitter endorses political ad disclosure bill | Uber buys bike share Overnight Cybersecurity: Zuckerberg faces grilling in marathon hearing | What we learned from Facebook chief | Dems press Ryan to help get Russia hacking records | Top Trump security adviser resigning MORE’s (D-Vt.) amendment related to reducing the use of cluster munitions.

- Sen. Roy BluntRoy Dean BluntMcCaskill outpaces GOP opponent by more than million GOP senators raise concerns about babies on Senate floor Some doubt McCarthy or Scalise will ever lead House GOP MORE (R-Mo.) and Mark PryorMark Lunsford PryorMedicaid rollback looms for GOP senators in 2020 Cotton pitches anti-Democrat message to SC delegation Ex-Sen. Kay Hagan joins lobby firm MORE's (D-Ark.) amendment would close a funding gap for the Food Safety and Inspection Service and ensure that food inspectors are not furloughed due to the sequestration cuts that went into effect March 1.

- Mikulski and Shelby’s final substitute amendment, making all of the Senate additions to the House bill.


--Erik Wasson contributed to this report.