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U.S. lawmakers advanced a critical $1.3 trillion federal spending bill Thursday, as Congress sprints to avoid a another embarrassing government shutdown ahead of a rapidly approaching funding deadline.With a Friday midnight deadline looming, the catchall bill, known as an "omnibus," comfortably passed the House of Representatives on a 256-167 vote.It sets defense spending levels at $700 billion for the year, an increase of $61 billion over the 2017 cap, while nondefense domestic spending will reach $591 billion, an increase of about 10 percent.
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