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Congress Passes Short-term Spending Deal
Congress passed a new two week spending bill Thursday evening averting a government shutdown which was set to occur at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, December 9. The measure was intended to stave off difficult budgetary decisions while Congress focuses on passing tax reform before the end of the year. Lawmakers now have until December 22 to avoid a shutdown and pass a 2018 spending bill.
Although Republicans have majorities in both chambers of Congress, they need Democratic support to pass spending legislation. Democrats are calling for the next spending bill to include more domestic spending, legal status for undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children, healthcare, and other priorities. Many Republicans are pushing for increased defense spending, while others are focusing on shrinking the size and role of government.
After canceling a previous meeting to discuss the spending bill last week, Congressional leaders from both parties met with the White House on Thursday to try and resolve their differences. Although no agreement was reached, the leaders have committed to continuing the discussions over the next two weeks.