With just hours left until a government shutdown at midnight, the House passed a stopgap funding bill today that will keep the government open for another week. House members voted 382-30 to approve the legislation, which gives lawmakers until midnight on May 5 to try to reach a compromise on legislation to fund the government through the rest of fiscal year 2017, which ends Sept. 30. The Senate is expected to approve the week long funding bill later today, and President Trump has said he will sign it into law.
Congressional leaders and the White House wanted to prevent an unpopular shutdown, which would have closed national parks and monuments, delayed tax refunds and furloughed thousands of federal workers. The shutdown would have taken effect Saturday — Trump’s 100th day in office — unless Congress acted. Democrats decided to support the stopgap measure after it became clear that House Republicans would not force a vote this week on a new version of their bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.
Federal programs would continue to be funded at existing levels under the stopgap measure approved by the House. The resolution would also extend health care benefits for retired union coal miners through May 5. There is bipartisan support for making those benefits permanent. The larger spending bill is expected to need Democratic help to keep the government funded, even though Republicans control both chambers of Congress as well as the White House.
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