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Senate passes two spending bills to avoid government shutdown

The $1.4 trillion package boosts spending for the military, scraps key taxes to fund the Affordable Care Act and raises the age to buy tobacco products to 21.

WASHINGTON — The Senate has passed a $1.4 trillion government spending package in what amounted to a last, bipartisan burst of legislating before the end-of-the-year holidays. 

Senators cleared the two-bill package in a set of votes on Thursday and sent it to President Donald Trump in time to forestall a possible government shutdown this weekend. The White House says Trump will sign it before Friday's midnight deadline. 

The legislation gives Trump a victory on his U.S.-Mexico border fence but also gives Democrats long-sought domestic spending increases and a repeal of Obama-era taxes on high-cost health insurance plans.

The first bill in the two-bill package, covering domestic programs, passed easily with a 71-23 vote. 

Credit: AP
FILE: In this Sept. 10, 2019, photo, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., arrives for a news conference (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

The package boosts spending for the military, scraps key taxes to fund the Affordable Care Act and raises the age to buy tobacco to 21, according to CNBC

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ABC News reported that Democrats also got $425 million for states to upgrade election systems and boosted the U.S. Census budget $1.4 billion above Trump's request.