Senate passes bill to fund government, averts federal shutdown

Republicans backed down in their border security fight Wednesday and settled instead for a stopgap spending bill that would keep the government running through early February, avoiding a government shutdown and leaving the big fights for the new Congress.

The Senate passed the bill by voice vote Wednesday evening, and the House is expected to follow suit ahead of a Friday night funding deadline — though the White House would not commit to signing it.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican, also said the Senate would still be in session Thursday.

“We have to see what the House does with what we just sent them,” Mr. McConnell said late Wednesday.

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