Shutdown averted as US Congress passes stopgap spending bill

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Shutdown averted as US Congress passes stopgap spending bill

Washington (AFP) – The US Congress easily passed a one-week stopgap spending bill Friday, assuring there is no embarrassing government shutdown on the 100th day of Donald Trump’s presidency.

After weeks of tense negotiations over federal spending, the measure sailed through the House and Senate just hours before a midnight deadline.

Trump is expected to sign the short-term measure by midnight in order to avoid a shutdown on Saturday.

The bill extends current levels of funding until May 5, giving lawmakers in the Republican-controlled Congress one week of breathing room to hash out a measure that would fund government operations through September, when the fiscal year ends.

With lawmakers acutely aware of the midnight deadline, the measure cleared the House of Representatives with broad bipartisan support, on a vote of 382 to 30.

Minutes later, the Senate approved the measure by a simple voice vote.

Congressional leaders have said the two sides have made important progress on the broader spending bill and that an agreement was within reach.

“But we shouldn’t be in this situation,” Senate Democrat Patrick Leahy said.

“We shouldn’t have allowed partisan politics once again to turn a looming deadline into a political standoff, and what’s really a manufactured crisis.”

After weeks of tense negotiations over federal spending, the measure sailed through the House and Senate just hours before a midnight deadline
Copyright AFP/File KAREN BLEIER

 

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