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US Congress passes spending bill, avoiding shutdown

The US Congress passed a spending bill late Wednesday and staved off a government shutdown, after reaching agreement on funding for a tainted water crisis in Flint, Michigan that had bedeviled earlier proposals. The fiscal year ends on September 30. Had Congress failed to pass a bill approving federal spending -- or in this case, extending existing spending levels until December 9 -- by midnight Friday, some government offices and operations could have been forced to close.
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