Senate approves short-term funding bill
© Greg Nash

The Senate passed a short-term spending bill on Thursday, a day ahead of a deadline to avoid a government shutdown. 

Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellFurious Republicans prepare to rebuke Trump on Syria Republicans wrestle with impeachment strategy Mattis warns 'ISIS will resurge' without U.S. pressure on Syria MORE (R-Ky.) passed the five-day spending bill by unanimous consent on the Senate floor, using a piece of House-passed funding legislation that was already on the Senate calendar. 

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The House is expected to pass the short-term spending bill on Friday. 

President Obama will sign the bill, the White House said.  

"He'll sign only to give Congress enough time to pass budget;GOP must drop ideological riders & compromise," press secretary Josh Earnest tweeted Wednesday night. 

Lawmakers were under a tight deadline to pass legislation funding the government to avoid a shutdown. The measure will give lawmakers until Wednesday, Dec. 16., to pass an all-encompassing omnibus spending bill. 

Senators had been expected to take up the legislation Friday after the House. By passing it on Thursday, senators will be able to leave Washington a day early.  

Sen. John CornynJohn CornynOvernight Health Care — Presented by Coalition Against Surprise Medical Billing — Judge blocks Trump 'public charge' rule | Appeals court skeptical of Trump arguments for Medicaid work requirements | CDC offers guidance for treating vaping-related cases GOP requests update on criminal referrals prompted by 2018 Kavanaugh probe Bottom Line MORE (R-Texas) suggested earlier Thursday that the Senate would be able to pass the short-term spending bill by either a voice vote or by unanimous consent.  

Asked whether senators would need to come back tomorrow to vote on the short-term bill, Cornyn added, "I don't think anybody — that would be sort of a meaningless act." 

Updated at 2:58 p.m.