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White House supports Senate funding bill

The White House on Tuesday called for passage of the Senate's compromise spending bill that would fund the government for the remainder of the fiscal year, as the bill appeared to hit a snag.

"The Administration urges the Congress to promptly pass this bipartisan compromise allowing critical government functions to operate without interruption in order to protect national security and ensure that Americans continue to receive vital services and benefits," said the White House in its official Statement of Administration Policy.

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The statement was released shortly after President Obama left Capitol Hill after meeting with Senate Democrats over lunch to discuss a broad range of issues.

The $984 billion spending bill, released late Monday evening, is a compromise bill hammered out between Senate Appropriations Chairwoman Barbara MikulskiBarbara Ann MikulskiBottom line How the US can accelerate progress on gender equity Former Md. senator Paul Sarbanes dies at 87 MORE (D-Md.) and ranking member Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) designed to avert a government shutdown on March 27, when the current stopgap expires.

Despite the bipartisan agreement though, Mikulski and Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Tax March - CDC in limbo on J&J vax verdict; Rep. Brady retiring Biden to tap Erika Moritsugu as new Asian American and Pacific Islander liaison White House races clock to beat GOP attacks MORE (D-Nev.) told reporters on Tuesday that the bill is being held up by Sen. Tom CoburnThomas (Tom) Allen CoburnCongress brings back corrupt, costly, and inequitably earmarks Conservative group escalates earmarks war by infiltrating trainings Democrats step up hardball tactics in Supreme Court fight MORE (R-Okla.).

Debate on the measure started Tuesday morning.

The White House statement said the Senate legislation improves on the House-passed legislation "by strengthening funding for transportation infrastructure, manufacturing, research and development, early childhood programs, and housing programs."

"Further, the Administration strongly supports inclusion of several full-year appropriations bills, which will improve the ability to efficiently allocate funding to key investments, including those that support science and innovation, nutrition, cybersecurity, community safety and national defense," the statement added.