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Congress Passes Stopgap Spending Bill, Averting Government Shutdown

Mon, May 1, 2017

Congress passed a weeklong stopgap spending bill Friday, averting a government shutdown.  Lawmakers cleared the measure easily and Trump signed it with just hours to spare before the shutdown deadline at midnight. But with Trump marking his presidency's milestone Saturday, he did not wring any major legislation out of Congress, despite a renewed White House push to revive the House GOP's health care bill in time for a vote.

House leaders are still short of votes for the revised health bill, though they could bring it to the floor next week if they find the support they need. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said the plan was to pass the bill "as soon as possible."

Also next week lawmakers plan to pass a $1 trillion package financing the government through Sept. 30, the end of the 2017 fiscal year.

The temporary spending bill keeps the government functioning through next Friday, to allow lawmakers time to wrap up negotiations on the larger measure. The Senate sent the stopgap bill to Trump by voice vote Friday after the House approved it by a lopsided 382-30 margin.

Meanwhile negotiations moved ahead on the longer-term spending bill, which would fund the day-to-day operations of virtually every federal agency.