Senate Approves 2-Week Stopgap Spending Measure

By Melanie Arter | December 7, 2017 | 7:45 PM EST

President Donald Trump with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) (Screenshot of White House video)

( - In a vote of 81-14, the Senate on Thursday passed a temporary stopgap measure funding the federal government for two weeks until Dec. 22 - three days before Christmas.

Prior to the vote, President Donald Trump met at the White House with House and Senate leaders Thursday to work towards passage of a CR. He characterized them as “a very friendly, well-unified group.”

“It's a well-knit-together group of people,” Trump said. “And we hope that we're going to make some great progress for our country. I think that will happen, and we appreciate it very much.”

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said, “Well, we hope we can come to an agreement. Funding the government is extremely important, helping our soldiers is very important, and helping average citizens is very important. So we're here in the spirit of: let's get it done.”

“We are here to make progress. We have some important issues that we share with you. You have described the opioid crisis in our country, and we want to address that; help our veterans; S-CHIP, children's health insurance; and, again, all things that have bipartisan support in the Congress,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) took to the Senate floor on Wednesday to say, “By sending this short-term funding provision to the president for his signature, we will ensure that the government remains open while bipartisan discussions continue with our colleagues in Congress and the White House on a long-term funding solution.”

“In the meantime, it is important to recognize that this bill doesn’t have any contentious provisions. We should all support it,” he said.

“A vote for this short-term measure will help maintain our military. It will continue the important work of federal agencies. And it will provide states with the certainty to continue funding the Children’s Health Insurance Program until a bipartisan CHIP reauthorization agreement is finalized,” McConnell added.

The House voted 235 to 193 to fund the government before the end of the week deadline.

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) praised his House colleagues Thursday for passing the stopgap measure that keeps the government open and funds the Children’s Health Insurance Program prior to the Senate vote.

“Along with enacting historic tax reform, we'll be working together in the next two weeks to find a long-term solution to our funding needs while maintaining fiscal discipline. The American people deserve that,” Ryan said.

During a White House briefing on Thursday, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked whether the president has changed his mind about not seeing a deal with Schumer and Pelosi.

The president tweeted at the time, “Meeting with ‘Chuck and Nancy’ today about keeping government open and working. Problem is they want illegal immigrants flooding into our Country unchecked, are weak on Crime and want to substantially RAISE Taxes. I don’t see a deal!”

“The bipartisan leadership is coming up in a much different atmosphere than the last meeting where he tweeted about how he didn't think a deal was possible because the Democrats were so bad on illegal immigrants pouring over the border. I'm wondering, has the president changed his mind about that?  And also, specifically, what was he referring to since, in a government shutdown, ICE and the Border Patrol aren't affected?” a reporter asked.

“The president is still very much committed to a strong border and to a border wall, and I would imagine that's discussed at some point today,” Sanders said.


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