US Senate passes budget bill

Dow Jones

Voting along party lines, the Senate on Friday approved a bill designed to avoid a partial government shutdown next week, setting in motion the next round of partisan jockeying with the House. 

The Senate voted 54-44 to approve the legislation, which would fund federal agencies for the first month and a half of the fiscal year, which begins Tuesday. The bill includes money for the new federal health-care law, which was stripped out by House Republicans last week. 

The legislation now returns to the House, where Republican leaders have already said they won't pass the Senate bill. That sets up a weekend of legislative volleying between the Democratic-controlled Senate and GOP-led House.

Congress must settle on a funding plan by Monday night, or federal agencies will have to suspend some services and furlough many workers. 

House Republicans have yet to settle on how they may amend the bill, leaving Congress mired in uncertainty over whether the chambers will be able to reach an agreement to keep the government running. 

Republicans in the House have been looking for ways to limit the reach of the health law championed by President Barack Obama and may attach provisions related to the law onto the spending bill.