The House voted 235-193 and the Senate voted 81-14 Thursday to pass a short-term spending deal lasting two weeks, known as a continuing resolution, funding the government at fiscal 2017 levels with an across-the-board reduction to keep spending in line with the fiscal 2018 caps through December 22.The continuing resolution, known as H. J. Res. 123, is a means to avoid an impending government shutdown, where all “non-essential” government functions would cease Friday due to lack of appropriated funds.

The House passed a fiscal 2018 omnibus spending bill, known as H.R. 3354, 211-198 on September 14. The bill has not been addressed by the Senate. The administration supports the bill and President Trump’s advisers would recommend he sign it, according to a December 6 statement of administration policy. Congress then passed in September a continuing resolution to keep the government funded while suspending the debt ceiling through December 8. Passage of the continuing resolution now means another decision on spending is required by December 22.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin sent a letter Wednesday to congressional leaders notifying them that Treasury would begin taking “extraordinary measures” on Friday to avoid such a government shutdown. The move would push the effective deadline for addressing long-term spending and the debt ceiling to March or April, according to a Congressional Budget Office estimate. Without an increase in the debt limit before the spring deadline, or Friday if Treasury did not take this step, the government would start missing payments, such as interest on the national debt, salary to federal workers and Social Security benefits, amongst others.

The continuing resolution, introduced by House Appropriations Committee Chairman Rodney Freylinghuysen (R-NJ) on December 5, also contains a provision directing more money to states that are running out of federal funds under the Children’s Health Insurance Program. It also included several funding changes, referred to as anomalies, and also extended expiring provisions such as the authorization of the National Flood Insurance Program. It does not include any additional disaster aid requested by the administration for recent natural disasters. It was passed under rules that barred any amendments to spending levels and required only a simple majority for passage.

The working group of 23 House Republicans, tapped by Speaker Ryan to address the debt ceiling, is headed by Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA). The group started strategizing in mid-October and now meets weekly on the issue.

Rep. Collins also said the group wants to pair any increase in the debt limit with provisions aimed at overhauling the congressional budget process. A wing of House Republicans are reportedly frustrated that Congress has often relied on passing continuing resolutions instead of the omnibus spending bill, which contains different budgetary priorities, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The group is also considering different ways to reduce federal spending, including making budgets have the force of law. Currently, a Congressional budget resolution is simply a statement of the chamber’s spending priorities, but has no authority regarding actual appropriations. The omnibus spending bill, on the other hand, reconciles spending priorities with appropriations.

Congress will now have to act by December 22 on spending levels for the remainder of fiscal year 2018. House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi (CA), Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (NY), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (KY) and Speaker Ryan met with President Trump Thursday to hash out an agreement on where to set spending levels for the next two years.

Once that budget deal has been reached–spending bills require 60 votes in the Senate–lawmakers can write the detailed spending bill that would fund the government through the rest of the fiscal year, which ends September 30. That would either mean passing an agreed-upon version of the House omnibus or another continuing resolution by December 22 to buy more time for detailed negotiations on a longer term deal.