Congressional talks yield deal to fund government through September
WASHINGTON — Congressional negotiators have hammered out a bipartisan agreement on a spending package to keep the federal government funded through the end of the current fiscal year on Sept. 30, a senior congressional aide said on Sunda, April 30.
The House of Representatives and Senate must approve the deal before the end of Friday and send it to President Donald Trump for his signature to avoid the first government shutdown since 2013.
The Washington Post reported that Congress was expected to vote early this week on the agreement that is expected to include increases for defense spending and border security.
The Republican-led Congress averted a U.S. government shutdown last Friday by voting for a stop-gap spending bill that gave lawmakers another week to work out federal spending over the final five months of the fiscal year.
Congress was tied up for months trying to work out $1 trillion in spending priorities for the current fiscal year. Lawmakers were supposed to have taken care of the fiscal 2017 appropriations bills by last Oct. 1.
Democrats backed Friday's stop-gap bill a day after House Republican leaders again put off a vote on major healthcare legislation sought by Trump and opposed by Democrats to dismantle the 2010 Affordable Care Act, dubbed Obamacare, after Republican moderates balked at provisions added to entice hard-line conservatives.
Trump earlier bowed to Democratic demands that the spending legislation for the rest of the fiscal year not include money to start building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border he said is needed to fight illegal immigration and stop drug smugglers.
The Trump administration also agreed to continue funding for a major component of Obamacare despite Republican vows to end the program.