“This is so important people who work with our military in Iraq,” Reid said just 30 minutes before the government is set to shutdown. “They’ve been wanting to leave some of them for 2 years. … Everyday these people are subject to arrest and being killed so this is so important that we did this.”

The bill allows Iraqis who helped the U.S. military as interpreters among other things apply for a visa to leave their home country because their lives are now threatened because they helped Americans during the War in Iraq.

The bill now heads to the House, but is unlikely to be considered quickly since lawmakers are still working on a deal to keep the government funded. At midnight the government will shutdown unless a deal is reached.