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US Senate clears $1.3 trillion budget bill to keep government open

The U.S. Senate approved a bipartisan, $1.3 trillion spending bill that will fund the government through Sept. 30, sending the legislation to President Donald Trump who has indicated that he will sign it.

The vote came less than 24 hours before the government would be forced to shut down with the expiration of an earlier funding measure. The House passed the measure earlier in the day by a vote of 256-167.

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle could point to provisions in the bill that justified their support. Republicans touted a boost to defense spending, while Democrats cited greater funding for social programs like affordable housing.

Mick Mulvaney, the director of the Office of Management and Budget, said on March 22 that the president will sign the measure.

The bill also includes some specific technical corrections to the Republican tax law passed at the end of 2017, with a focus on provisions affecting farmers. At a news conference held before the vote, House Speaker Paul Ryan said the law would likely need additional changes in the future.

Jill Ornitz contributed to this report.