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Senate Passes Stopgap Funding Bill to Avert Government Shutdown

Erik Wasson
·2-min read

(Bloomberg) -- The Senate Wednesday passed a stopgap spending bill needed to prevent an Oct. 1 shutdown of the federal government on an 84 to 10 vote.

The bill, H.R. 8337, which easily passed the House last week, now heads to President Donald Trump’s desk. He is expected to sign it before the midnight deadline.

The funding bill would keep the government operating through Dec. 11 at current spending levels.

Congressional Republicans and Democrats, along with White House officials, last week removed the final stumbling block, striking a deal by agreeing to provide aid to farmers and more food assistance for low-income families.

The bill provides as much as $30 billion for the Department of Agriculture’s Commodity Credit Corp., which the Trump administration has used to send virus relief payments to farmers. Democrats got almost $8 billion for a pandemic program to feed children who normally receive school lunches.

With the temporary spending bill finished, lawmakers will try to complete work on the 12 annual appropriations bills for fiscal 2021 in the post-election lame-duck session in November and December. The Senate hasn’t drafted any of the bills so far, and there’s likely a battle ahead over paying for Trump’s wall on the U.S.-Mexico border and replacing military funds he redirected to pay for border security last year.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin agreed earlier this month to keep discussion of a coronavirus relief package separate from the stopgap bill. The two leaders on Wednesday held their first in-person talks since August, and while no deal on the stimulus was reached, they plan to continue discussions.

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