US Congress Passes Stopgap Spending Bill To Avert Government Shutdown

WASHINGTON (Alliance News) - With a potential US government shutdown looming, members of Congress ...

Alliance News 7 December, 2018 | 6:40AM
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WASHINGTON (Alliance News) - With a potential US government shutdown looming, members of Congress voted Thursday to approve a short-term spending bill amid an ongoing disagreement over funding for President Donald Trump's proposed border wall.

The two-week spending bill extends funding for several government agencies, with the deadline to reach a long-term agreement pushed to December 21st from Friday.

Lawmakers agreed to the two-week extension as most of the attention in Washington, DC in recent days has been on funeral services for former President George HW Bush.

Trump had been due to meet with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Democrat-California, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Democrat-New York, on Tuesday, but the meeting was postponed due to Bush's death.

Reports have suggested Trump will meet with Pelosi and Schumer next Tuesday in an effort to reach an agreement on funding for the controversial border wall.

Trump wants USD5 billion allocated for the wall, while Schumer is said to be sticking to USD1.6 billion in border security funding and Pelosi does not want to provide any money for the wall.

The negotiations over border wall funding have reportedly led to in-fighting among Democrats, with a report from Politico indicating House Democrats are worried Schumer will sell them out on the wall.

Meanwhile, Trump has suggested there could be a government shutdown over the issue of funding for the wall, which he insisted throughout his presidential campaign would be paid for by Mexico.

Trump claimed in a post on Twitter on Monday that building the wall would save the country billions of dollars, although he did not provide any evidence to support his assertion.

"We would save Billions of Dollars if the Democrats would give us the votes to build the Wall," Trump said. "Either way, people will NOT be allowed into our Country illegally! We will close the entire Southern Border if necessary. Also, STOP THE DRUGS!"

Most of the government was funded in a spending package passed ahead of the midterm elections, although key agencies such as the Department of Homeland Security, the State Department and the Interior Department would be affected by a potential shutdown.

Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX

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