Senators Pass Short-Term Spending Bill to Avoid Government Shutdown

Just two days before the deadline to provide funding for the federal government in order to keep it open, senators passed a stop-gap spending bill to prevent a partial shutdown and fund the remaining parts of the government through February 8, 2019.

The bill will now be sent to the House for a vote and if approved by representatives it will need to be signed by President Donald Trump. Until then, a partial government shutdown is still possible. However, it seems unlikely that the measure will be met with opposition in the House, as it has the backing of the top congressional Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, while top congressional Republicans expressed optimism that the President would sign the bill.

“He will sign a clean CR,” said Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn about the President.

“This is a missed opportunity to pass full-year funding bills now. However, Democrats will be ready to fully, responsibly fund our government in January, and we will support this continuing resolution,” said Pelosi.

Yet, just hours before the Senate passed the bill, it seemed as if it had hit an obstacle due to a push to advance public lands legislation. After final passage of the stop-gap measure, several senators took to the floor to express their frustrations over that issue, CNN reports.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said later that he and Senator Mitch McConnell made a commitment to supporters to bring the lands’ package up as one of the first votes in January.

President Trump had for some time been insisting on $5 billion in funding for a border wall, a non-starter for Democrats, which led to fears of a shutdown. But after the White House renounced its demand for the border wall funding, the prospect of a temporary spending bill being passed increased.

On Wednesday night, however, members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus and other conservative allies called on Trump not to give up his quest for border wall funding. Regardless of their opposition, the President is likely to sign the bill and avert a government shutdown.

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