US Senate approves funding bill to avert government shutdown

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - The United States (US) Senate on Wednesday approved a bill to avert a government shutdown next week by keeping agencies and discretionary programs funded through the fiscal year ending on Sept 30.

The measure, approved by a 73-26 vote, must go back to the House of Representatives for final approval.

It keeps in place US$85 billion (S$106.3 billion) in automatic spending cuts, but it offers the military and some domestic agencies more flexibility to shift funds within these reduced budgets to higher-priority programmes.