Temporary funding bill clears key procedural hurdle in U.S. House

WASHINGTON, Feb 6 (Reuters) - The U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday cleared a stop-gap funding bill for debate and a vote on passage later in the day as Congress maneuvered to avoid government agency shutdowns when existing money expires at midnight on Thursday.

By a vote of 236-188, the House approved rules for debating the fifth temporary spending bill for the fiscal year that began Oct. 1. (Reporting by Richard Cowan; Writing by Eric Walsh; Editing by Eric Beech)