Washington, Sept 27: The Senate voted, 79-19, to move forward on the bill, clearing the required 60-vote hurdle. Twenty-five Republicans joined all the Democrats.
19 Republicans opposed the measure. Two Republicans did not even cast votes.
The Senate is now expected to pass a Democratic amendment to strip a provision in the bill that cuts money for the Affordable Care Act. A simple majority is all that's required for that vote.
A final vote will return the bill to the House, putting pressure on the Republican-controlled chamber to act with just three days left to avoid a government shutdown before the end of the federal fiscal year.
If Congress fails to settle on a plan to keep the government funded by midnight Monday, the federal government will see its first shutdown in nearly two decades.
With agency inputs