In a vote late on Saturday, the Senate voted 56 to 40 to pass the $1.1 trillion spending bill that will stave off a government shutdown. Senator Harry Reid (D-NV), still the majority leader in the upper chamber until the new term starts next month, used a procedural quirk connected to the vote as an opportunity to push through two dozen presidential nominees that Senate Republicans had sought to block.
As reported previously, the bill largely retains current spending levels for key programs, including Medicaid. The spending bill has now passed both chambers, and is awaiting the President's signature, which is expected later this week.
In separate, but related news, the Senate is set to consider House-passed tax extenders which include in them the language of the ABLE Act. H.R. 5771, which passed the House earlier this month, extends certain tax provisions through the end of 2014. The Senate is expected to pass the extenders after finalizing other legislation, possibly as early as this week.