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Lawmakers in the United States Senate passed a spending package shortly before a midnight deadline

Lawmakers in the United States Senate passed a spending package shortly before a midnight deadline, averting a partial government shutdown.

The lower house on Friday voted 75-22 to approve a $460bn spending package of six bills that will fund agriculture, transportation, housing, energy, veterans and other programmes through the end of the fiscal year on September 30. The lights would have gone out across several departments and agencies this weekend if the funding was not passed.

The vote was a crucial step towards finalising the 2024 federal budget after months of deadlock in the deeply divided Congress. The bill has been sent to President Joe Biden to sign into law.

In a statement ahead of the bill’s passage, top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer hailed the legislation as a “major step” towards a fully funded government.

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