The Senate on Thursday approved a measure to fund the federal government through March 11, marking the final legislative step toward preventing a shutdown that would have occurred by the end of the week.

The measure now heads to President Biden’s desk, where his signature will give lawmakers about three more weeks to reach the sort of longer-term deal that has eluded them for months — a tricky debate that some hope will pave the way for billions of dollars in new coronavirus aid.

The stopgap, known on Capitol Hill as a continuing resolution, largely preserves federal spending at its existing clip. The bipartisan, 65-27 vote followed days of partisan wrangling, after a crop of Republicans held up swift passage to take a series of political stands — seeking to protest excessive federal spending, defund federal vaccine mandates and prevent the government from subsidizing crack pipes.

Like before, the spending patch spares the government from significant disruption, particularly during an ever-evolving pandemic. But it also comes at the cost of Biden’s agenda, preventing Democrats from ratcheting up spending in areas like health care, education, science and research as the president first proposed last spring. Republicans have rejected many of Biden’s plans, believing instead the country should spend more on defense….