House averts government shutdown, passes $1-trillion spending bill

WASHINGTON  -- The bitter partisan feud over the proper size of government came to a temporary truce Wednesday as the House easily approved a $1-trillion spending bill to avert another federal shutdown.

Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) corralled his often restless Republican majority to support the bipartisan accord, which is expected to be approved by the Senate later this week.

The measure, approved 359 to 67, will fund almost every aspect of federal operations for the remainder of the fiscal year, through Sept. 30. The legislation gives military troops a 1% pay raise and reverses steep reductions to some military and domestic programs.

As the debate was underway, Rep. Harold Rogers (R-Ky.), the Appropriations Committee chairman who crafted the 1,000-page plus bill with Sen. Barbara  Mikulski (D-Md.), reminded his colleagues of what was at stake. 

“Providing funding for our federal government is one of our chief duties as members of Congress,” said Rogers, who has been in Congress for nearly 34 years. “To govern, you’ve got to pass these funding bills for the government.”

Passage in the House was not without opposition. More Democrats than Republicans pushed the bill to passage, as 64 Republicans and a few Democrats voted against. Conservatives vowed to continue pushing President Obama to cut spending and stop the Affordable Care Act.

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