updated 3/2/2011 8:43:12 AM ET 2011-03-02T13:43:12

The Senate has unanimously passed legislation to prevent lawmakers and the president from getting paid if the government shuts down.

Story: Obama signs stopgap spending bill

The measure also would apply if the government defaults on its debts and would block members of Congress or the president from getting back pay when the government reopens.

Story: Why 2011's budget woes don't mirror 1995

A partial shutdown of the government could occur if Republicans and Obama can't agree on a spending bill for the rest of the fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30. A measure funding the government for another two weeks is on track to pass and avert a shutdown Friday.

The government never has defaulted on its debts, although Republicans controlling the House acknowledge that it'll be very difficult to advance a bill to raise the legal limit on government borrowing this spring.

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Video: Deal reached to avert government shutdown?

  1. Closed captioning of: Deal reached to avert government shutdown?

    >> will likely stay open for business after the senate votes today on $4 billion in spending cuts. nbc's capitol hill correspondent kelly o'donnell joins us now with more on the story. hey, kelly . good morning.

    >> reporter: good morning, ann. congress did buy itself more time. another two weeks to keep the government's operations going and bills paid. the gop-led house passed the extension with the $4 billion in cuts because they came from a list of presidents that he could go along with. so more than a hundred house democrats were on board and that put pressure on the senate. today they say they will pass it quickly and senate democrats say they have to get on board, too. the problem is this is a short-term fix and congress has to figure out a way to come up with a longer-term set of deep cuts . that means a sequel to this budget showdown in a couple of weeks. ann?

    >> kelly , thank you.


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