Government Shutdown Averted For 7 Days: Senate Passes Stopgap Spending Bill
One hour after the House of Representative passed the a stopgap spending bill in a 382-30 vote, moments ago the US Senate likewise voted the measure through; the bill which gives the government a week before this specatcle has to be repeated again unless a full spending bill is enacted, now goes to Trump for signing later today.
The Senate’s low-drama vote came after Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) blocked a deal on passing the stopgap measure over concerns about the remaining hurdles in the larger deal.
But Schumer signaled on Friday morning that Democrats were willing to back the one-week stopgap bill as they try to lock down an agreement.
“We’re willing to extend things for a little bit more time in hopes that the same kind of progress can continue to be made,” Schumer told reporters. Negotiators are still ironing out a final agreement even as lawmakers prepare to leave Washington until early next week.
Schumer noted Friday that negotiators stayed up past 1 a.m. making a “good deal of progress.”
The measure will keep the government open through May 5 and give lawmakers more time to reach a larger agreement on an omnibus bill that would include funding for the rest of the fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30. “The legislation should pass today, and it will carry us through next week so that a bipartisan final agreement can be reached and so that members will have time to review the legislation before we take it up,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said from the Senate floor, cited by The Hill.
Looking ahead, Trump will need Democratic votes to clear the longer spending bill. The legislation will require 60 votes in the Senate, and the GOP has a 52-vote majority. And Republicans could need help in the House if conservative lawmakers balk. One of the biggest hurdles to a deal was resolved earlier this week when the Trump administration backed off its demands that money for the border wall be included.
Lawmakers could instead include border security money that would allow the Trump administration to increase technology or repair fencing, kicking the border wall fight to the fall. “Democrats have always been for border security. … We may address border security in this bill as well, but it will not include any funding for the wall, plain and simple,” Schumer said from the Senate floor this week.
The Trump administration also assured Dems that it would continue making ObamaCare’s cost-sharing payments to insurers to help subsidize low-income health plans, mollifying Democrats who had initially demanded that the money be included in the bill. “We’ve heard from … the Trump administration that they will be going with the cost-sharing funding,” Pelosi said. “I think we’re in a good place with them on this.”