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House, Senate OK omnibus budget bill

NOTE: This article first appeared on FCW.com.

UPDATE: The spending package passed the Senate early this morning and now heads to the president for his expected signature before current funding expires.

The $1.3 trillion spending package cleared the House of Representatives on March 22, moving it along to the Senate one day ahead of a potential government shutdown.

The omnibus measure, which would keep the government funded through September and end the string of stopgap funding bills, passed the House by a 256 to 167 margin — with 145 Republicans and 111 Democrats voting for the bill, and 90 Republicans and 77 Democrats voting against.

The Freedom Caucus opposed the bill, with its vice-chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) appearing on "Fox and Friends" to say the omnibus "may be the worst bill I have seen in my time in Congress."

The Senate must now pass the bill before midnight on March 23 to send it to the president's desk and avoid another government shutdown.

At a press conference following the House's passage, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said it was "the hope of [Senate Majority Leader Mitch] McConnell and myself is that we're going to vote today." He also predicted the bill would pass the Senate.

"We burned the midnight oil, and we ended up with a bill that's really good for the American people," he said. "That's why this agreement just passed the House with a very large vote, and I'm comfortable it will pass the Senate by a comfortable margin as well."

About the Author

Chase Gunter is a staff writer covering civilian agencies, workforce issues, health IT, open data and innovation.

Prior to joining FCW, Gunter reported for the C-Ville Weekly in Charlottesville, Va., and served as a college sports beat writer for the South Boston (Va.) News and Record. He started at FCW as an editorial fellow before joining the team full-time as a reporter.

Gunter is a graduate of the University of Virginia, where his emphases were English, history and media studies.

Click here for previous articles by Gunter, or connect with him on Twitter: @WChaseGunter

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