Congress cleared a $1.1 trillion spending bill for President Barack Obama’s signature late Saturday night after a day of Senate intrigue capped by a failed, largely symbolic Republican challenge to the administration’s new immigration policy.

The vote was 56-40 in favor of the measure, which funds nearly the entire government through the Sept. 30 end of the fiscal year. It also charts a new course for selected shaky pension plans covering more than 1 million retirees, including the possibility of benefit cuts.

The Senate passed the bill on a day Democrats launched a drive to confirm two dozen of Obama’s stalled nominees to the federal bench and administration posts, before their majority expires at year’s end.


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