Senate passes stop-gap bill to avert shutdown for 2 weeks

U.S. Senate chambers. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Dec. 6 (UPI) — The Senate passed a stop-gap spending bill Thursday, averting a government shutdown for another two weeks as President Donald Trump seeks funding for his U.S.-Mexico border wall.

The House passed the bill earlier Thursday, meaning Trump has until Friday to sign the measure and prevent a partial shutdown.

It pushes the funding deadline from Friday to Dec. 21, one week after Congress was expected to leave Washington, D.C., for the holidays.

At the heart of the impasse over the 2019 spending bill is Trump’s request for $5 billion to fund the border wall.

Democrats have been reluctant to approve the full amount — the House included $5 billion for border security in its Department of Homeland Security bill and the Senate’s included $1.6 billion.

Republicans in the Senate have suggested appropriating $5 billion over the next two years, but the measure would need some Democratic votes to pass.

Sen. Richard Shelby, chairman of the Senate appropriations committee, said that though time is running out, he believes a deal could be struck within two weeks.

“I think you could do it in 15 minutes if you could reach some sort of resolution to it. Will they, is a good question. … I don’t know if they will,” he said.


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