UPDATE 2 — 9/26, 4:11 p.m. EDT: President Trump said Wednesday he will sign a $855 billion bill funding the Defense Department in-full for the entirety of fiscal year 2019, ending any threat of a government shutdown on Oct. 1.
The House of Representatives is expected to pass the measure later Wednesday.
UPDATE —9/18, 1:28 p.m. EDT: The U.S. Senate passed another federal spending package totaling $855 billion in a 93–7 vote Tuesday, which will in-part fund the federal government through Dec. 7.
The second “minibus” approved by Congress’ upper chamber in two weeks includes no funding for additional fencing along the Mexican border and ignores President Trump’s calls for budgetary cuts to such programs as the National Institutes of Health and community block grants.
On Thursday, the House approved a $146 billion “minibus” spending package for the 2019 fiscal year starting Oct. 1. The package, passed by the Senate Wednesday, includes three bills concerning military construction and veterans’ affairs, the legislative branch and Energy Department
Congress must approve a funding bill before the new fiscal year begins in order to avoid the third shutdown of 2018.
The package will now go to President Trump for approval, who is expected to sign, but has previously threatened a government shutdown if his controversial border wall is not funded. Trump had been leaning towards the potential shutdown as recently as Sept. 7 when he told reporters on Air Force One, “I would do it because I think it’s a great political issue.”
Trump’s statements concern congressional Republicans who worry about the fate of the GOP’s majority after the November midterm elections.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has indicated Congress will do a short-term continuing resolution for the funding of the remaining spending bills and discuss funding the border wall post-midterms.
Last week, Senate Republicans introduced a legislative spending package to fund the remained of federal government programs through early December, specifically authorizing monetary outlays for the departments of Defense, Labor, Health and Human Services and Education.
[Reuters via Fox News] [The Hill via MSN] [Washington Post] [Wall Street Journal] [Photo courtesy USA Today]