Congress approves temporary spending bill to avoid government shutdown

The Capitol Christmas tree is illuminated as lawmakers in the Senate work late into the evening in Washington, Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2017. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

WASHINGTON (NBC News) — If you work for the federal government, you will still be paid – at least through mid-January.

Congress passed a temporary spending bill Thursday evening to avert a government shutdown and fund the federal government as a Friday midnight deadline neared.

The measure passed the House on a 231-188 vote over the Democratic opposition and then cleared the Senate 66-32, with Democrats from Republican-leaning states providing just enough votes.

The bill keeps most agencies funded at current levels and buys Congress more time to debate a bigger spending bill that would carry the government through September of 2018.

This stop-gap measure includes a patch for the children’s health insurance program. But the Senate decided to put off debate on funding for hurricane disaster relief until after the holiday break.

President Trump is expected to approve the measure.

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