WASHINGTON - The US Senate passed legislation on Friday to fund the government through April and sent it to President Obama for signing into law, after Democrats who had sought more generous healthcare benefits for coal miners stopped delaying action on the measure.
Many government services and operations would have been closed or suspended starting at midnight, when current funding authority expires, if the Senate had not approved the measure. The vote was 63-36. The House of Representatives passed the legislation on Thursday.
Democrats from coal-producing states, led by West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, had delayed the Senate vote on the funding bill in a failed attempt to get a bigger extension of the miners' healthcare benefits that expire at the end of this year.