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House OKs stopgap as work on major spending bill continues

This time, it looks like Congress will avoid a government shutdown without all the fuss.

Current government funding is set to expire on January 15, but the House on Tuesday passed a three-day stopgap bill that will keep the government open through Saturday at midnight.

That measure -- which passed by voice vote -- gives lawmakers extra time to complete work on a massive $1.012 trillion spending bill, expected to make its way through both chambers by the end of the week.

The “omnibus” spending bill, which clocks in at 1,582 pages, will fund the government through September 30th, 2014.

The nine-month budget bill is based upon the breakthrough deal reached by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash.,  in December.

The sweeping legislation doles out funds – and enacts policies directing how those funds can and can’t be used – for everything from school vouchers in the District of Columbia and foreign aid in Egypt to the fight against invasive Asian carp in the Great Lakes.

It would also reverse a cost-of-living decrease to the pensions of disabled veterans, an unpopular cut that was part of the Murray-Ryan deal last year.

The legislation doesn’t mean smooth sailing on fiscal matters for the rest of the year. The United States is once again slated to hit the debt ceiling next month.