The spending bill being negotiated in Congress includes 2,500 new visas for Afghans who helped U.S. troops, averting a potential lapse in a program offering support for people who act as interpreters or otherwise support the American mission there.

The bill would have to be passed for the new visas to be authorized, but it is expected that Congress will have the votes to win approval of the broad package, which would prevent the government from shutting down at the end of this week.

"This is potentially a life-saving development," Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) said in a statement Monday.

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