Congress passes two-week stopgap to avoid government shutdown

Congress passes two-week stopgap to avoid government shutdown

With one day to spare before a looming government shutdown, Congress passed a short-term funding measure Thursday, sending the bill to President Donald Trump’s desk and providing legislators with two additional weeks to negotiate a longer-term solution.

The Senate passed the funding bill 81-14 Thursday afternoon, shortly after it advanced through the House of Representatives by 235-192 margin.

Earlier in the day, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said that Democrats in her chamber would not vote for the measure because it lacked funding to address the opioid epidemic, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, the Dream Act, emergency disaster relief and other items on the party’s agenda.

“This is a waste of time,” Pelosi said. “There could be some good things that could be advanced and because it doesn’t have things in it, doesn’t mean that makes it OK.”

Republicans, who hold a 240-193 advantage in the House, were nevertheless able to pass the bill, with 14 Democrats joining the majority to vote “yea.” Eighteen House Republicans opposed the funding measure.

Congressional leadership met with Trump at the White House Thursday afternoon to further discuss a long-term spending deal. After the summit, Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement that they had a “productive conversation” but that “nothing specific has been agreed to” and that “discussions continue.”

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders added that the meeting was “constructive” and that Trump, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., “stressed that negotiations on immigration should be held separately on a different track, and not as part of the government funding bill.”

Funding under the bill passed Thursday expires on Dec. 22.


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