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Budget Control Act of 2011

No shutdown: Congress approves bill to keep government open

Just hours before a midnight deadline, a bitterly divided Congress approved a stopgap spending bill Wednesday to keep the federal government open — but with no assurance there won't be yet another shutdown showdown in December.

Democrats helped beleaguered House Republican leaders pass the measure by 277-151 — a lopsided vote shrouding deep disagreements within the GOP — after the Senate approved it by a 78-20 tally earlier in the day. President Barack Obama signed the bill Wednesday evening, but not without White House carping.

"The American people deserve far better than last-minute, short-term legislating," said spokesman Josh Earnest in...