Politics: Senate passes 4 spending bills amid continued border wall fight - - PressFrom - US

Politics Senate passes 4 spending bills amid continued border wall fight

22:05  31 october  2019
22:05  31 october  2019 Source:   politico.com

Spending bills crawl forward, but a second stopgap looms

  Spending bills crawl forward, but a second stopgap looms The Senate finally launched floor debate this week on bills to fund the federal government, but it looks increasingly possible that another stopgap spending bill will be needed amid battles over border fences and impeachment. © Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby. While leaders from both parties assure that a government shutdown is highly unlikely, so too is the prospect of clearing any of the fiscal 2020 spending bills by the time the current stopgap runs out on Nov. 21, necessitating another catchall continuing resolution to drag out funding at last year’s levels.

The Senate on Thursday took a first step toward advancing some government funding, passing a bipartisan package of bills that would pay for the operations of major agencies such as Agriculture, Transportation and Interior.

a person walking across a beach next to a body of water: A border wall separates San Diego from Tijuana, Mexico.© Gregory Bull/AP Photo A border wall separates San Diego from Tijuana, Mexico.

But the vast majority of government spending is still ensnared by partisan disputes over how to pay for President Donald Trump’s border wall and his ability to shuffle federal money around to build that barrier, as well as decisions on how much to allocate for big domestic priorities like health care.

Trump says he was kidding about building a wall in Colorado

  Trump says he was kidding about building a wall in Colorado The president told a crowd at a shale conference in Pennsylvania that they were "building a wall in Colorado," raising eyebrows.It was not immediately clear what the president meant when he made the remark, given that Colorado is clearly not a border state. Mr. Trump tried to clear up his comments in a tweet at 12:20 a.m. Thursday.

Current government funding lasts through Nov. 21, and congressional leaders agree that another short-term funding fix before the end of the year or through early next year will be needed as appropriations talks continue. That stopgap would have to be passed to avert another government shutdown.

The Senate passed a four-bill minibus in an 84-9 vote that wraps together four of the dozen appropriations bills that fund the government — Agriculture-FDA, Commerce-Justice-Science, Interior-Environment and Transportation-HUD.

They are the first fiscal 2020 spending bills to make it through the Senate this year.

Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) has said passage of the non-controversial minibus could inject new life into gridlocked negotiations with the House and kick-start conference talks, at least on the bipartisan four-bill bundle.

Behind the scenes, congressional leaders are hoping to finish all 12 appropriations bills by year‘s end, although the House and Senate have yet to agree on bipartisan, bicameral funding levels for those bills.

White House officials met with Republican and Democratic aides from both the House and Senate on Tuesday to discuss outstanding issues, although there’s no consensus on whether any progress was made or not.

White House backs short-term plan to avoid shutdown .
President Donald Trump is willing to back a month-long government funding bill that would punt a potential shutdown battle until December, one of his senior advisers said Tuesday. © Andrew Harnik/AP Photo Eric Ueland, President Donald Trump's director of legislative affairs. Congress and the White House have less than three weeks to hammer out a spending deal to avert a funding lapse on Nov. 21, just days before Thanksgiving. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.

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