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Senate Passes Spending Bill, Averts Government Shutdown

With less than hour to spare, the Senate late Friday backed legislation averting a government shutdown as coal-state Democrats retreated on long-term health care benefits for retired miners but promised a renewed fight for the working class next year.  The vote was 63-36 and sent the stop-gap spending bill to President Barack Obama for his signature ahead of a midnight deadline.   It came hours after Democrats dropped threats to block the measure in hopes of using the...

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