House passes stopgap bill to prevent government shutdown

government stopgap
The House passed the spending measure just a few days before government funding is set to run out. (Kevin Dietsch/UPI file photo)

WASHINGTON (UPI) — The House has passed a short-term spending bill to prevent the government from shutting down later this week when it was to run out of funds.

The stopgap measure, known as a continuing resolution, passed 231-192 to keep money in government coffers until Dec. 20. It will now head to the Senate for consideration before being signed by President Donald Trump to prevent a shutdown. The current stopgap spending bill is to lapse Thursday at midnight.

“I pleased that we are keeping government open, assuring full funding for a fair and accurate Census, and ensuring a pay raise for our military,” House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita M. Lowey, D-N.Y., said. “Even with passage of this CR, American families, businesses and communities need the certainty of full-year funding. Only by coming together in good faith can we settle subcommittee allocations and enact responsible, full-year spending bills that invest in critical priorities.”

The continuing resolution also ensures the Census Bureau full funding for next year’s census, a 3.1 percent pay raise for uniformed services, an increase in funding for the Indian Health Service and an increase of funds to respond to the Ebola outbreak in Africa.

If signed by the president, it will be Trump’s second of the fiscal year, which started Oct. 1, after he signed a stopgap measure in late September.

The measure comes as talks over a longer deal have stalled. Although Congress has approved much of a two-year budget deal, issues remain over border security and defense funding.

Last year, the country experienced its longest shutdown in its history at 35 days over differences in opinion on funding for Trump’s physical barriers along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Reporting by Darryl Coote

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