Spending bills worth $490B approved by US Senate

The US Senate has given the green light to a $460 billion spending bill just hours before a crucial deadline to avoid a government shutdown.
Spending bills worth $490B approved by US Senate

The latest bill includes funding for six important areas and has already been approved by the House of Representatives. Now, it's up to President Joe Biden to sign it into law, which he plans to do on Saturday. This means federal agencies can keep running without any interruptions.

Another set of six bills, including defense spending, is currently being negotiated. The goal is to have all government agencies fully funded by March 22. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a Democrat from New York, sees this bipartisan effort as a sign that things can get done even when there's divided government. He highlighted some of the benefits of the bill, such as hiring more air traffic controllers, boosting rail safety, giving federal firefighters a raise, and providing more support for homeless veterans.

The Senate passed the bill with a strong majority, 75-22, after some intense deliberation. Lawmakers worked tirelessly to address various amendments and priorities before the midnight deadline. While there were concerns about a potential shutdown, it was never really in doubt that the bill would pass eventually.

Senator Susan Collins, a leading Republican on the Senate Appropriations Committee, urged her colleagues to stop delaying and approve the bills. She emphasized the importance of funding the government's essential functions and questioned what could be more critical than that.