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Both houses of Congress pass short-term spending bill to avert another potential government shutdown


Now it's on the president's desk

Aurora Samperio/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Both houses of Congress have passed a short-term spending bill to avoid another government shutdown. The bill has been sent to the White House for President Donald Trump's signature.

Here's what we know

This bill passed Senate on Thursday by a vote of 82-15. It had already passed the House of Representatives on Sept. 19 with a vote of 301-123.

If this bill is not signed by Trump, the government will shut down at the end of September.

While Trump is expected to sign the bill, Congress did not add one thing he asked for: more freedom for the administration regarding where it can construct barriers along the southern border.

This bill won't prevent a shutdown for long

Like many other spending bills, this is only a stop-gap measure to put off the possibility of a shutdown, not to eliminate it. Even if Trump signs the bill, that only kicks the potential for a government shutdown down the road until Nov. 21. For the most part, this bill only continues to fund programs that were already approved under the 2019 budget at their current rate.

Congress and Trump will still have to agree to a separate 2020 spending bill before the end of the year. Both the Senate and the House have been working on this for some time now, but have failed to make much headway.

Last year, Congress approved a spending bill, only to have Trump refuse to sign it at the last minute due to a lack of funding for a wall along the southern border. The ensuing fight between Congress and the White House resulted in the longest government shutdown in United States history. After 35 days, Trump decided to sign the spending bill without border funding, and instead use a national emergency to reallocate the funds he had requested from elsewhere in the government.

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