Congress gave itself one more week to agree on a spending bill to fund the U.S. government through September, leading into President Donald Trump’s 100th day in office Saturday by keeping the lights on.
The 382-30 House vote Friday was followed quickly by unanimous Senate passage of the stopgap spending bill hours before the shutdown deadline. The measure goes to Trump for his signature. “We feel very good” that lawmakers will be able to pass a full spending bill next week, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters.
Leaders of both parties say they’re close to agreement on a broader spending plan after Republicans signaled they would accept Democratic demands that the Trump administration promise to continue paying Obamacare subsidies and drop its bid for immediate funds for a wall on the Mexican border.
“You shouldn’t create artificial deadlines,” Alabama Republican Gary Palmer said in support of the short-term measure. “If there are things we need to work through, we need to take the time to work through them.”
Senator Patrick Leahy, the top Democrat on the Appropriations Committee, said both sides have made progress on issues including more funds for the National Institutes of Health, opioid funding for states, Pell college grants and money for transit. But he said the talks remain snagged over Republican demands for policy “riders.”
“Let’s not govern by partisan manufactured crisis,” he said on the Senate floor. “Stop posturing,” he added as he called for a speedy resolution on the bill sometime next week.
“This is no way to govern,” Senator Patrick Leahy, a Vermont Democrat, said before the Senate vote.
Sixteen House Republicans voted against Friday’s stopgap measure. The short-term fix to ward off a government shutdown — on a deadline set months ago — shows the stubborn dysfunction of Congress even with a unified Republican government. House GOP leaders on Thursday abandoned efforts to vote this week on their plan to repeal and replace Obamacare for lack of support in their party. A vote is still possible next week.
Among the biggest achievements Trump has highlighted for his first 100 days are executive orders, signing bills to undo last-minute regulations from the Obama administration, and a Supreme Court justice confirmation that required changing Senate rules to push it through.