Robert P. Casey, Jr.

Shutdown averted, Senate backs stop-gap spending bill

With less than hour to spare, the Senate late Friday backed legislation averting a government shutdown as coal-state Democrats retreated on long-term health care benefits for retired miners and promised a renewed fight for the working class next year.

The 63-36 vote sent the stop-gap spending bill to President Barack Obama, who signed the measure early Saturday morning. The Senate also passed and sent the president a $10 billion water bill with money to respond to lead-tainted drinking water in Michigan and drought in California. The vote was 78-21.

The votes came hours after Democrats dropped threats to block the spending measure in hopes of using the shutdown deadline to...