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  • House Approves Shutdown-Averting Stopgap Spending Bill
    Posted On: Dec 08, 2016
    WASHINGTON DC -  The House on Thursday approved a measure 326-96 to keep federal agencies funded through April 28, approving the second stopgap measure since October that will now keep spending levels on cruise control for the first seven months of fiscal 2017.

    The continuing resolution will now head to the Senate for final passage. The upper chamber must send the bill to President Obama for his signature before midnight on Friday to avoid a shutdown. After tense last-minute negotiations, congressional Republicans unveiled the measure Tuesday evening and the House passed the bill with little fanfare.

    House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., announced prior to the vote that she would not personally support the CR, but instructed her fellow Democrats to vote how they wished.

    “It's such a missed opportunity and it's really kind of sad,” Pelosi said on the House floor, referring to provisions that were not included. A significant majority of Democrats ended up supporting the bill, in addition to the overwhelming portion of Republicans who backed it.

    The CR would maintain the fiscal 2016 spending level, which placed a $1.07 trillion cap on appropriations. The bill also includes $10.1 billion for the departments of Defense and State’s efforts to combat terrorism. It contains a short-term extension of funding for health care for miners, $170 million in funding for relief for Flint, Mich., $4.1 billion in disaster relief necessitated by recent events such as Hurricane Matthew and a provision to limit debate on a waiver to allow former Gen. James Mattis to serve as Defense secretary despite his relatively recent retirement form the military.

    Democrats have denounced Republicans' push for a CR rather than full-year appropriations, saying they caved to the demands of President-elect Donald Trump. They said if a CR was necessary, it should have been much shorter than the four-plus month measure approved Thursday in order to limit the amount of time agencies spent on auto-pilot. 

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