US House passes stopgap spending Bill to avert shutdown

The House voted 240 to 186 in support of a bipartisan package to extend USA government funding till March 23.

Otherwise, the agreement would provide nearly $300 billion more to the Pentagon and domestic programs over current spending limits.

Democrats did manage to get $6 billion in funding to deal with the opioid crisis and drug addiction, one of their key demands, and the package includes $20 billion in funding for infrastructure fix and improvement.

Lawmakers pushed to enact a massive budget deal Thursday along with a stopgap temporary measure to prevent a government shutdown at midnight.

The White House's Office of Management and Budget "is now preparing for a lapse in appropriations", an OMB official said on condition of anonymity late Thursday, calling on lawmakers to get the measure to Trump's desk "without delay".

The legislation being negotiated by Schumer and McConnell reportedly does not tackle the issue of immigration, over which Democrats shut down the government last month.

"We'll see. If they want to stay up until 3 a.m., I'm happy to do it for the fiscal solvency", he said.

Paul said he wanted to vote on an amendment to maintain the current budget caps, the antithesis of the deal that would likely fail, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has signaled he will not hold such a vote.

One day before a threatened USA government shutdown, Senate leaders on Wednesday struck a bipartisan deal that would keep the federal government funded for two years but left contentious immigration topics unaddressed, Voice of America reports.

But as the day went on, a growing number of House Democrats, including Bay State congressmen Joe Kennedy and Seth Moulton, indicated they planned to vote against it because it does not include language protecting young "Dreamer" immigrants who were brought into the country illegally by their parents as children.

Later Wednesday, the Senate still plans to vote on the House-passed standalone defense funding bill, which is expected to fail at a procedural vote.

"I can't in all good honesty and all good faith just look the other way because my party is now complicit in the deficits", Paul said.

The deal gives appropriations committees in both houses of Congress time to craft a detailed spending plan that will fund the government through September of 2019.

The bill includes huge spending increases sought by Republicans for the Pentagon along with a big boost demanded by Democrats for domestic agencies.

White House officials said the lack of a signing ceremony indicated Trump's displeasure with the last-minute additions that will further add to the government's ballooning deficit.

But, she said, without a commitment from Ryan to allow a free-flowing debate on immigration protections for DREAMers, "this package does not have my support".

Schumer called the budget "An historic, bipartisan budget deal" that will increase federal investments in NY.

Republicans are eager to keep spending and immigration separate.

This is a bipartisan bill.

Ryan said again Thursday he was determined to bring an immigration bill to the floor this year - albeit only one that has Trump's blessing.

"Unfortunately, we are back at that point that we were just a few weeks ago", said House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.

The president on Tuesday said he would "love to see a shutdown" if Democrats don't work toward compromise legislation on immigration and border security, NBC reported.

  • Leroy Wright