Senate OKs short-term continuing resolution

The Senate on Thursday night cleared a short-term stopgap measure to keep the government running through Dec. 18.

The House passed the measure on Wednesday, ahead of Friday's expiration of the current continuing resolution, holding spending at fiscal 2010 levels. 

House and Senate Democrats want to push through an omnibus spending package or a CR through the end of fiscal 2011, Sept. 30, to lock in spending at their desired levels. Republicans, on the other hand, would prefer a short-term extension, probably until early March, to apply spending cut pressure next year when they take over the House majority. 

House Republicans have called for spending to be frozen at fiscal 2008 levels for three years as a way to reduce the deficit. 

Senate appropriators have put together a bipartisan omnibus bill but it's unclear whether it has enough support to pass.