Senate backs bill to avert shutdown, boost military spending

WASHINGTON-- The Senate has approved a wide-ranging $854 billion bill that provides a fix to keep the government open through Dec. 7 and funds the military and a host of civilian agencies.

The measure includes $675 billion for the Defense Department and boosts military pay by 2.6 percent. That's the largest pay raise in nine years. The measure also approves spending for Health and Human Services, Education, Labor and other agencies, including a 5 percent boost for the National Institutes of Health.

Senators approved the bill 93-7 on Tuesday. The measure now goes to the House, where lawmakers are expected to approve it next week. That would leave days to spare ahead of a Sept. 30 deadline for a government shutdown.