White House Indicates Support for Stopgap Bill to Avoid Government Shutdown

WASHINGTON (Reuters) —
FILE PHOTO: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. (REUTERS/Tom Brenner/File Photo)

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Monday the Trump administration had voiced support for legislation providing temporary funds for an array of federal agencies through Dec. 20 to avert shutdowns at the end of this week.

McConnell, a Republican, predicted such a bill would pass the Senate “and the White House has indicated President Trump would sign it” into law.

The Democratic-led House of Representatives is expected to pass the legislation later this week and send it to the Senate for final approval and Trump’s signature ahead of a Thursday deadline.

The temporary funding would give House and Senate negotiators more time to reach a deal on a series of bills to pay for most government activities through Sept. 30, 2020, the end of the fiscal year that began on Oct. 1.

Congress is hoping to avoid another partial government shutdown like the record-long one that began late last December and lasted for 35 days.

Just like during that battle, Trump is demanding billions of dollars to build a U.S.-Mexico border wall that Democrats and some Republicans oppose.

House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey said in a statement the latest funding bill would assure “full funding for a fair and accurate Census” next year and ensure that military personnel receive a 3.1 percent pay raise.

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