Efforts to avoid gov't shutdown move to Senate

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

Efforts to stave off a late March government shutdown have shifted to the Senate after House Republicans swiftly passed legislation to keep federal agencies running, while also easing some of the effects of $85 billion in budget cuts.

The House legislation is the first step toward averting a possible fiscal showdown this month. It was approved Wednesday in a bipartisan vote.

If another budget crisis can be avoided, it could clear the way for lawmakers and President Barack Obama to restart talks on a longer-term deficit reduction plan. That was Obama's focus during a rare dinner with a dozen Republican senators Wednesday night at a hotel near the White House.

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