The Senate gave final approval Thursday night to a short-term extension of federal funding to keep the government running for three more weeks while shoving a raft of fiscal and policy fights into the new year.
The spending measure, which now heads to President Donald Trump for his signature, would maintain current levels of spending through Jan. 19 and provide $4.5 billion in emergency funding for missile defense work as well as other Pentagon expenses.
It passed the Senate 66-32 after winning approval in the House 231-188.
It also would provide money for several health programs and a funding bridge of $2.85 billion for the Children’s Health Insurance Program, or CHIP. A temporary extension of a section of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, that allows collection of emails and other messages without a warrant also was included.
Among the most noteworthy provisions in the stopgap measure is a waiver of a budget rule that would trigger automatic cuts to Medicare and dozens of other federal programs because of the deficit impact of the tax overhaul passed this week.
The waiver would clear the way for Trump to sign the tax legislation before the end of the year rather than waiting until January.
The Senate shelved a separate $81 billion disaster aid package passed by the House, a blow to representatives from Texas, Florida, California and Puerto Rico, all of which were hit by devastating natural disasters this year.
It was done in by a group of Republicans who argued it should be offset by spending cuts elsewhere and some Democrats who decried the package insufficient and want to use it as leverage on other issues.
The debate over the aid package now will carry into January, where it will be added to an already loaded agenda for lawmakers when they return from a holiday recess, which includes debates about the budget, immigration, health care and raising the federal debt ceiling.
The wrangling that it took to cobble together a stopgap spending plan that could pass both the House and Senate drained away some of the euphoria in the Republican ranks left over from passage of their tax overhaul.
“I think it’s an acceptable solution,” Representative Brett Guthrie, a Kentucky Republican, said after the House voted for the pared down stopgap measure. “It’s just frustrating that we’re doing it this way.”
House GOP leaders backed down from their initial plan to appease the defense hawks in their ranks by attaching full funds for the 2018 military budget and forcing the Senate to decide how to approach the Democrats whose help they would need to help pass it.
There was simmering resentment — as Republicans cast their votes just before leaving town for the holiday — that their policy making would once again be held hostage by the minority party in the Senate.