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Congress averts government shutdown for now

Congress averts government shutdown for now
From Reuters - December 7, 2017

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Congress moved rapidly on Thursday to send President Donald Trump a short-term funding bill to avert a government shutdown this weekend, leaving fights over budget priorities and a range of other controversial issues for the coming weeks.

The House of Representatives, working against a Friday midnight deadline, approved legislation in a 235-193 vote to fund a wide range of federal programs through Dec. 22.

The Senate followed up by approving the bill 81-14. The White House has said Trump will sign it into law.

The measure creates more time for a reckoning between Republicans and Democrats about budget differences, which Trump discussed in a meeting with leading lawmakers at the White House earlier in the day.

We hope that were going to make some great progress for our country. I think that will happen, Trump said.

The White House said negotiations would resume on Friday.

Leaders now have about two weeks to find common ground on a host of thorny issues for the next government funding bill in order to prevent a partial government shutdown on Dec. 23.

Both sides want to avoid having parts of the government close, particularly during the holidays, for fear of a public backlash, and leaders from both parties have preemptively blamed the other for such a potential outcome.

That political blame game is likely to continue in the next two weeks while, behind the scenes, leaders hammer out a compromise.

Republicans mainly want a big increase in defense spending for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2018. But Democrats are insisting that any added Pentagon funding be accompanied by increases to other domestic programs.

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