Senate OKs bill to fund government through Dec. 11

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WASHINGTON, DC — The Senate voted overwhelmingly Wednesday to extend government funding through Dec. 11.

The bill passed 78-20 and now goes to the House, which must act before midnight to head off a shutdown, and House Republican leaders say they plan to pass the bill in time.

Meantime, top-level negotiations between GOP leaders in Congress and the White House to resolve critical end-of-year budget issues — including a longer-term government funding bill, an increase in the debt ceiling, new funds for highway construction, and renewal of expiring tax provisions — are expected to begin soon.