House votes to avert shutdown, fund government through November

The House on Thursday passed legislation to avert a government shutdown and keep the government funded through Nov. 21.

The bill, which passed in a 301-123 vote, came after some uncertainty that the stop-gap measure would be brought to the House floor by the end of the week after it was yanked at the committee level on Tuesday evening.

The measure, known as a continuing resolution or CR, was unexpectedly pulled from the House Rules Committee due to a lack of consensus on provisions including health care funding extensions and aid to farmers dealing with the repercussions of the trade war with China.{mosads}

The bill text was ultimately released Wednesday evening after bipartisan, bicameral negotiators reached a deal on the provisions.

The Senate is expected to take up the House measure next week.

The final House deal included provisions requiring the Department of Agriculture to provide state-by-state data on the effects of President Trump’s trade war, and extends funding for a slew of health programs including community health centers and Medicaid coverage in U.S. territories.

It also extends the National Flood Insurance Program and authorizations for the Export-Import Bank.

House Appropriations Chairwoman Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.) noted that the legislation did not include any partisan riders that could have derailed it from passing both chambers.

“This legislation avoids controversial policy provisions that have slowed down the appropriations process, and that, if included, would jeopardize passage,” she said on the floor ahead of the vote.

“For example, it does not include an anomaly requested by the Trump administration to allow wall building outside the Rio Grande valley. At the same time, the CR contains provisions that reflect shared priorities, including allowing the Census Bureau to ramp up preparations for the 2020 census.”

House Appropriations Committee ranking member Kay Granger (R-Texas) said it’s “unfortunate” that Congress had to pass another stopgap measure instead of completing its work on funding the government on schedule.

The extension was belied by deeper troubles in the annual appropriations process, largely centered around Trump’s proposed wall at the U.S.-Mexico border.

The process has lagged, as the Senate waited until a top-line spending deal was reached in late July to begin its appropriations process. 

The upper chamber began passing bills in committee last week, but has failed to move a single spending bill ahead of the start of the new fiscal year on Oct. 1.

On Wednesday, Senate Democrats blocked the chamber from taking up a package of spending bills, protesting that they bills failed to prevent Trump from reprogramming defense funds toward the wall, and diverted billions in health funds toward it.

Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) raised the prospect that, absent an agreement on the wall issue, Congress would have to pass further stopgap measures.

“I think it depends on if we start working together,” he said.

Tags Continuing resolution Donald Trump Government shutdown House Kay Granger Nita Lowey Richard Shelby spending bill
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