House moves toward final funding vote
© Greg Nash

The House easily advanced a spending bill to avoid a government shutdown at midnight, setting up a final vote later Wednesday.

The procedural rule governing debate on the bill passed 239-187, with only three Republicans voting against it. 

The rule must pass first in order for debate, followed by a vote on the underlying legislation. With it approved, the House is now on track to pass a spending bill lasting through Dec. 11, around 5 p.m. Wednesday evening.

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Democrats uniformly vote against procedural rules on the floor, putting the onus on Republicans to provide enough votes to pass them. But Democrats are expected to supply votes for the underlying spending bill; many GOP lawmakers will likely oppose it because it doesn't cut off Planned Parenthood funding.

The federal government will shut down at midnight if Congress doesn’t send the legislation to President Obama’s desk in time.

In addition to the spending bill, the House will also vote on a measure known as an “enrollment correction” that would defund Planned Parenthood. But it will be separate from the spending bill and is expected to fail in the Senate.