House Passes Bill to Avert Shutdown

House Passes Bill to Avert Shutdown

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The shutdown threat disappeared as quickly as it arrived.

In a 359-to-57 vote Tuesday night, the House approved a continuing resolution to extend current funding levels through December 11 after Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and the White House reached a deal to remove the threat of a government shutdown when the fiscal year ends on September 30.

Earlier talks on the stopgap spending deal came crashing down late last week, raising the possibility of a last-minute funding crisis, but Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin were able to revive the negotiations and come to terms on Tuesday.

The House bill provides additional funding sought by negotiators from both sides of the aisle, including $8 billion for children’s nutrition programs and $21 billion to replenish the Commodity Credit Corporation, a Depression-era income assistance program that the Trump administration has used to bail out farmers hurt by the president’s trade policies. The resolution also includes new guidelines that would prevent oil companies from benefiting from CCC funding. 

What’s next: The bill will advance to the Senate. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has not yet commented publicly on the bill, but is expected to bring it up for a vote this week, and President Trump is expected to sign it soon after.

Senate may head home: If the bill is signed into law by the end of the week, senators may start their fall recess early. “My guess is if we wrap up the CR [continuing resolution] then yeah we probably should be done for at least a while,” Senate Majority Whip John Thune (R-SD) said Wednesday, adding that lawmakers would return to town if needed to vote on a coronavirus relief bill or a new Supreme Court justice.