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Senate Passes Stopgap Spending Bill

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The U.S. Senate approved a spending bill to avert a government shutdown.
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The U.S. Senate approved a spending bill to avert a government shutdown.

Senate lawmakers have passed a bill to avert the government shutdown. The bill was held up because a couple of Republican senators say it is larded with pet projects. But Virginia Democratic Sen. Mark Warner says none of the pet projects have his name on them.

"If there is, I haven't gotten my 2 cents in because I feel it may be done by appropriators," he says.

The bill keeps in place sequestration's billions of dollars in budget cuts. The original House version would allow only the Defense Department more flexibility in dealing with those budget cuts, which is why Warner says it's good the Senate version extends that flexibility to other agencies.

"What we've tried to do in the Senate bill is try to, within certain of the non-defense areas, prohibit some of the most stupid of the cuts that were taking place and give some additional flexibility," says Warner.

Now the bill is in the House where it's expected to pass before lawmakers head out of town for their Easter recess. If it fails in that chamber, parts of the government will be shuttered next week.

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