By Andrew Duehren
*Trump Signs Short-Term Spending Measure To Keep Government Funded Through Dec. 20 -- White House official
*Government Funding Was Set to Run Out At Midnight
*The Signing Comes After the House and Senate Passed the Measure
(Article below will update)
WASHINGTON -- The Senate approved a short-term spending bill hours before the government runs out of funding, sending the legislation to the White House as disagreements on border-wall funding have again stymied progress on the full-year bills.
The House first passed the stopgap measure, which keeps the government funded through Dec. 20, on Tuesday and President Trump was expected to sign it. The bill also provides for a 3.1% pay increase for military personnel, sets funding aside for conducting the decennial census and extends funding for a number of health-care programs. Current government funding expires after the end of Thursday.
Lawmakers soon will leave Washington for a recess until after the Thanksgiving holiday, setting up a three-week legislative sprint to reach a compromise on an issue that has long divided Washington: allocating money for building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. The last government shutdown, which started on Dec. 22 last year and lasted a record 35 days, began when Mr. Trump and the then GOP-controlled Congress couldn't reach an agreement on border-wall funding.
Negotiators are first working toward dividing spending between the 12 full-year funding bills, an important prerequisite to any eventual agreement. Democrats argue that money that Republicans want to put toward wall construction should instead be used for domestic programs.
Any eventual agreement also will need to settle other questions related to border-security funding.
Democrats want to limit the president's ability to transfer money around the government after Mr. Trump repurposed billions in Pentagon funds last year for building a wall. They also don't want to replace money Mr. Trump used for wall funding, including the roughly $3.6 billion the administration pulled from military construction projects earlier this year.
Senate Democrats have repeatedly protested Republican efforts to approve more money for border-wall construction, voting against a Senate bill providing $5 billion for the wall in committee and blocking consideration of another funding package on the floor.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
November 21, 2019 18:34 ET (23:34 GMT)
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