Senate passes funding bill to avert partial government shutdown

The Senate is approaching a midnight deadline to pass a bill to fund the government and avert a shutdown. The House passed a $1.2 trillion government funding package earlier Friday.

Earlier this month, Congress passed a first slate of government funding bills ahead of another partial deadline, providing funding for the departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Justice, Veterans Affairs, Energy, Interior, Transportation, Housing and Urban Development as well as the Food and Drug Administration, military construction and other federal programs.

Now, funding for the remaining departments and agencies expires at midnight. That includes the departments of Homeland Security, Defense, State, Treasury, Health and Human Services, Education and Labor. 

What’s at stake: Millions of federal workers and military personnel would be affected by the shutdown, including about 60% of civilian federal employees, according to Andrew Lautz, senior policy analyst at the Bipartisan Policy Center.

At least 625,000 workers, mostly civilian Defense Department employees, could be subject to furlough, he said. At least another 725,000 civilian federal employees, mainly in the departments of Homeland Security and Defense, could have to continue working, but not get paid until the shutdown ends, Lautz said. More than 2 million military personnel, including active duty and selected reserve members, could also have to work without pay.

The absence of a deal could also cause airport delays, harm border operations, affect civilian workforce and recruiting, have an effect on tax filing season and federal student aid, as well as impact State Department contracts and job offers.

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