Senate Passes Spending Plan To Keep Government Open Until February

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The United States Senate, facing a looming funding deadline later this week, passed a bill on Wednesday night that would provide funds to keep the federal government up-and-running through at least February.

The short-term funding bill passed the Senate on Wednesday, two days before the government was set to shut down, a report from Axios indicated. The bill allows the government to remain funded for more than a month, through February 8.

The bill still has to pass in the House of Representatives, and after that, it still requires President Donald Trump’s signature. It’s not clear yet if Trump intends to sign the bill or not.

Previously, Trump made it seem as though he would not sign any funding bill that didn’t include at least $5 billion to extend construction of a wall on the southern U.S. border, between U.S. and Mexico. Trump even told Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) during a televised meeting in the White House that he would be “proud” to shut down the government over the issue in the name of national security, according to a report from Politico.

Schumer was joined in opposition to Trump’s border wall during the meeting with Nancy Pelosi (D-California), whom many believe will become the next Speaker of the House. The two had joined Trump in the White House to see if they could help broker a deal with him on funding the government, although presently both houses of Congress are controlled by the president’s own Republican Party.

Schumer, during the meeting which took place last week, told Trump that holding out for a wall was a mistake. “We shouldn’t shut down the government over a dispute,” he said.

Following the meeting, amid media reports that depicted him as holding firm to his promise despite the harm that a government shutdown could produce, Trump seemingly backed away from the threats to require a wall in any government funding package, according to reporting from New York Magazine.

During debate on the Senate bill Wednesday evening, Schumer seemed to acknowledge the change in tone from the president. “Thankfully, President Trump appears to have backed down from his position for billions in direct appropriations for a border wall,” he said, according to a report from CNN.

As far as whether Trump will sign the bill or not, the number-two Republican in the Senate, John Cornyn of Texas, seemed to believe that he would sign the continuing resolution to fund the government.

“He will sign a clean CR,” Cornyn said.