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Lawmakers Pass Stopgap Spending Bill To Avoid Government Shutdown

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With a Friday deadline looming, lawmakers in the House and Senate voted Thursday to approve a short-term spending bill to avoid a government shutdown.

The legislation extends government funding until December 22nd, giving lawmakers time to negotiate a longer-term spending bill.

The House voted 235 to 193 in favor of the two-week funding bill, with the vote largely coming down along party lines.

The stopgap spending bill had stronger bipartisan support in the Senate, which voted 81 to 14 in favor of the legislation.

The vote in the House came after Republican leaders managed to win the support of some more conservative lawmakers.

The approval of the bill came after Congressional leaders held a meeting with President Donald Trump regarding a longer-term spending bill.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ken., said the meeting did not result in a deal but noted negotiations would continue.

"We had a good meeting. We agreed to keep on talking," McConnell said. "Everybody wants to get to an outcome."

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., released a joint statement describing the conversation as productive.

"We had a productive conversation on a wide variety of issues," Pelosi and Schumer said. "Nothing specific has been agreed to, but discussions continue."

An agreement on a longer-term bill to fund the government could be held up by a disagreement regarding spending levels.

While Democrats want an increase in defense spending to be matched by an increase in domestic spending, Republicans only want an increase in defense spending.

Democrats are also pushing for the bill to include a provision providing protections for illegal immigrants brought to the country as children, which some GOP lawmakers oppose.

A dispute over providing funding for Trump's proposed border wall could also hamper efforts to reach an agreement on a long-term spending bill.

by RTT Staff Writer

For comments and feedback: editorial@rttnews.com

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