(WASHINGTON) -- Ending three years of paralyzing budget battles, Congress has funded the government through fiscal 2014. By a vote of 72 to 26, the Senate on Thursday night gave its stamp of approval to a massive $1.1 trillion spending bill that keeps every federal agency running through the end of September.
It means there is no government shutdown on the horizon, and that the government will no longer be running on “autopilot.” The vote was called at 6:13 p.m. with Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., in the chair.
The bill cleared the Republican-controlled House on Wednesday with an overwhelming bipartisan majority. It now heads to the White House for President Obama’s signature.
“We’re a little late, but we’ve gotten the job done,” declared Sen. Barbara Mikulski of Maryland, who chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee. The 1,500-page bill reverses most of the sequester cuts, restores full cost-of-living adjustments for military retirees, boosts funding for hundreds of new medical research studies, expands grants for Head Start, and gives federal workers their first pay increase in four years. It does nothing to dismantle Obamacare or other conservative pariahs like public broadcasting. The bill bans the use of taxpayer funds from being used for painted portraits of members of Congress, the cabinet and residents of the White House.
As Jeff noted below, the measure’s passage with minimal obstruction from Tea Party Republicans underscores the political fallout from the government shutdown and efforts by the party establishment to chart a course toward more moderate and pragmatic governance.
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