US government narrowly avoids shutdown as Congress votes to extend federal funding

 
Caitlin Morrison
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The US government now has 10 weeks to agree a new budget plan (Source: Getty)

The US government narrowly avoided being shut down last night, as it ended weeks of infighting with a vote on funding for federal agencies.

Congress voted to extend funding for the government, averting a shutdown just hours before a midnight deadline.

The vote was largely won on Democrat votes, at 277 to 151. A majority of Republicans had voted against the measure as it did not meet conservatives' demands to cut off money to women's healthcare provider Planned Parenthood. Many conservatives wanted the organisation to be cut off amid an abortion scandal.

“The good news is that it looks like the Republicans will just barely avoid shutting down the government for the second time in two years. That's a somewhat low bar but we should celebrate where we can," President Barack Obama said last night.

He added: “The bad news is that it looks like Republicans will just barely avoid shutting down the government again for the second time in two years.”

US federal agencies will now be funded until 11 December. Politicians have until then to agree a longer-term budget solution, or risk another potential shutdown.

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