Trump signs 2-week spending bill to prevent government shutdown

The U.S. government will continue in operation following President Trump signing a continuing resolution Friday, avoiding a shutdown which had been expected by Saturday.

In the absence of a budget deal for fiscal year 2018, a missed Oct. 1 deadline, the stop-gap measure will continue funding federal programs until Dec. 22.

Both chambers of Congress had passed the motion to temporarily fund the government Thursday.  In the House of Representatives, the measure passed 235–193; in the Senate, the motion was secured by a wider majority, 81–14.

“We’ll be working together in the next two weeks to find a long-term solution to our funding needs while maintaining fiscal discipline,” House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said in a statement after the House vote.

While averting a partial shutdown, what remains is the grueling task of hammering out details revolving around a formal budget deal before legislators leave Capitol Hill for the holidays.  President Trump met with congressional leaders at the White House Thursday to discuss the prospects of a longer-term deal.

At odds over spending, congressional Republicans are demanding an increased Pentagon budget, while Democrats seek similar spending increases for domestic programs.

Once negotiations over spending limits are reached, Congress can return and assemble a formal budget to keep the government functioning until the end off the current fiscal year on Sept. 30, 2018.

Democrats have also balked at any agreement which does not address the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), set to expire in March 2018 unless Congress can pass legislation extending the program.

Other key aspects in ongoing talks are related to disaster-relief funding for areas hit by wildfires and hurricanes, child health programs and funding for community health centers.

 

[Roll Call] [Bloomberg] [Reuters] [Photo courtesy Reuters/Kevin Lamarque]