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House passes bill to reopen government through February

January 17, 2019

The House on Thursday passed a stopgap funding bill that would reopen shuttered federal agencies through the end of February, as the partial government shutdown closes in on the one-month mark.

The House passed the bill by voice vote.

House Democrats have been passing individual spending bills and stopgap funding legislation to try to pressure Senate Republicans into passing bills to reopen the government, if only temporarily, in an effort to jump-start broader negotiations over border security.

But Republican leaders have dismissed the votes as political ploys, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has repeatedly indicated he doesn’t plan to take up spending bills if President Trump won’t sign them.

The House on Wednesday had passed legislation that would reopen shuttered federal departments through Feb. 8 and provide $14 billion worth of emergency spending to assist victims of recent natural disasters, such as hurricanes and wildfires.

The White House has threatened to veto the stopgap bills, saying they fall short on border security funding. The White House also threatened to veto the emergency funding bill, saying much of the money is unnecessary and duplicative.

Six House Republicans voted with Democrats on the spending package the House passed Wednesday, after the number of GOP defections on earlier individual spending bills had been as high as a dozen.

Eight Democrats also broke with their party on Wednesday to vote against an amendment from Rep. James McGovern, Massachusetts Democrat, that would bar the disaster money from being used to fund President Trump’s desired U.S.-Mexico border wall.

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