Trump signs bill to avoid shutdown, delaying deadline to January

Trump signs bill to avoid shutdown, delaying deadline to January
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpFive takeaways from the Democratic debate As Buttigieg rises, Biden is still the target Leading Democrats largely pull punches at debate MORE signed a stopgap measure on Friday to avert a government shutdown hours before the midnight deadline.

The House and Senate cleared the short-term spending patch on Thursday. It will extend funding for federal agencies through Jan. 19.

Trump signed the stopgap bill alongside the GOP tax overhaul as his last items of business before leaving the White House for his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Fla.

It's the second short-term spending bill Trump has signed into law in as many weeks as Republicans focused on finishing their tax legislation before Christmas.

The temporary government funding bill also extends an electronic surveillance law, known as Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, that was set to expire at the end of this month.

It further includes temporary funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) through March. CHIP's authorization expired in September and lawmakers have been unable to finalize a bipartisan agreement on long-term funding.

That has resulted in states starting to run out of money for the program, which provides insurance to about 9 million low-income children.

Congress passed the stopgap measure as its final order of business before leaving for the holidays. When lawmakers return in January, they will have to grapple with finalizing a budget to begin work on an appropriations package that funds federal agencies for the rest of the 2018 fiscal year.

Lawmakers will also be tasked with establishing a long-term reauthorization for the foreign surveillance program. Democrats are also pushing for action in January on establishing protections for young immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children who had received temporary work permits through the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program, which the Trump administration is rescinding.

Jordan Fabian contributed.