House passes disaster relief bill to fund government through Feb. 8

House passes disaster relief bill to fund government through Feb. 8
© Greg Nash

The House passed a Democratic-backed emergency disaster relief bill on Wednesday that includes an amendment funding the federal government through early February.

The bill passed in a 237-187 vote, with six Republicans joining Democrats in voting for the measure, which would reopen parts of the government and fund them through Feb. 8.

The legislation introduced by House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita LoweyNita Sue LoweyLobbying world Progressives fight for leverage amid ever-slimming majority Biden needs to tear down bureaucratic walls and refocus Middle East programs MORE (D-N.Y.) would provide $12.1 billion in disaster relief funding for areas impacted by Hurricane Florence, Hurricane Michael and the California wildfires, as well as other areas impacted by natural disasters last year.

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The measure is not expected to be taken up in the Senate, where Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellHouse to act on debt ceiling next week White House warns GOP of serious consequences on debt ceiling Lindsey Graham: Police need 'to take a firm line' with Sept. 18 rally attendees MORE (R-Ky.) has vowed to not bring any spending measure to reopen the government to the floor unless President TrumpDonald TrumpOvernight Defense & National Security — The Pentagon's deadly mistake Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by Climate Power — Interior returns BLM HQ to Washington France pulls ambassadors to US, Australia in protest of submarine deal MORE has signaled he will sign it.

Its passage comes on the 26th day of the partial government shutdown with no clear path forward as negotiations over funding for Trump’s border wall remain at an impasse.

The president has said he will not support any spending bill that doesn’t include funding for a barrier along the U.S.-Mexico border. Top Democrats said they will not back any measure that provides anything close to the administration's request for $5.7 billion in border security funding.

House Democrats have implemented a strategy of bringing clean funding bills to the floor in an attempt to pressure GOP lawmakers to break with the president’s demand for a wall.

Republicans are also optimistic they can sway Democrats to buck their party’s leadership and support wall funding as the shutdown, which began Dec. 22, continues to drag on.

Members of the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus met the president and administration officials in the Situation Room on Wednesday, but the negotiations failed to produce a deal.

The House is expected to take up another clean continuing resolution aimed at funding the government through Feb. 28 on Thursday.