Senate passes short-term spending bill to avoid shutdown

The Senate passed a short-term spending bill by voice vote on Wednesday night intended to avoid a government shutdown.

The measure moves on to the House, where if passed, then goes to President Trump for his signature.

The Senate  introduced the stopgap measure on Wednesday to fund the government, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said.

The president has been in a stand-off with Democrats over funding for a wall along the country’s southern border, which has prohibited lawmakers from reaching an agreement on a spending bill. Congress needs to agree on the measure by Friday at midnight, or parts of the government will shut down.

On Feb. 8, when the measure runs out, Democrats will have control of the House of Representatives, which could lead to an even more challenging battle for Trump over border wall funding.

While Trump suggested last week that he would be “proud” to shut down the government over border security, he seemed to back away from that stance this week. On Wednesday, he suggested the trade agreement reached with Canada and Mexico (USMCA) would lead to an indirect payment from Mexico.

CRs, while useful in keeping Capitol Hill running, can have negative consequences on federal agencies – which are unable to plan for the coming year when their budgets have not been finalized.

Spending on some agencies has been agreed upon by lawmakers. The disagreement primarily involves the Department of Homeland Security – where funding for the border wall would be allocated. Other agencies funded through the CR include the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Commerce and the Department of Justice.