House Passes Funding Stopgap Bill to Avoid Shutdown

The U.S. Capitol dome in Washington on June 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

WASHINGTON (CN) – With time running short for lawmakers to pass a funding bill and avert a government shutdown, the House of Representatives on Tuesday approved a short-term spending plan that will fund the government through Dec. 20.

The stopgap deal, which also includes a 3% federal pay raise, money for the census and extensions of certain public health programs, cleared the House 231-192 on Tuesday afternoon. In addition, the bill includes an extension of certain provisions in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act through the middle of March.

The Senate plans to take up the deal in the coming days and President Donald Trump is expected to sign it into law.

“By extending these programs and government funding through Dec. 20., this CR will allow additional time to negotiate and enact responsible long-term funding for priorities that make our country safer and stronger and give working families a better chance at a better life,” Democratic Representative Nita Lowey, the chair of the House Appropriations Committee, said Tuesday, using Capitol Hill parlance for the short-term agreement, called a continuing resolution.

The short-term spending deal was necessary to fund the government ahead of a Thursday night deadline, but left lawmakers unhappy with the progress of lengthier spending deals.

“The uncertainty created by the habit Congress finds itself in of repeated CRs and the continual threat of a shutdown is crippling, especially for our military,” Representative Kay Granger, the top Republican on the Appropriations Committee, said on the House floor Tuesday.

House and Senate leadership came to a broad, top-line spending agreement earlier this year that was billed as a way to avoid the typical tie ups that have plagued the appropriations process throughout the Trump administration.

But the promise of the deal has not come to fruition, as talks have again stalled over various provisions, including those related to Trump’s long-standing demand for money for a wall along the southern border.

%d bloggers like this: