- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 21, 2019

President Trump signed legislation Thursday to fund the government for another month, after Congress passed the stopgap spending resolution.

Funding for the government was set to expire at midnight Thursday.

The Senate on Thursday approved the continuing resolution to fund the government through Dec. 20 by a vote of 74-20, following the House’s approval on Tuesday.

Sen. Rand Paul, Kentucky Republican, introduced an amendment that would reduce the spending measure by 1% to fund infrastructure. But Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby intervened to stop Mr. Paul from throwing a wrench into the Senate’s plan to avert the partial government shutdown.

“An arbitrary, 1% across-the-board cut, although it sounds good, on top of this would be extremely harmful to our agencies, particularly our military,” Mr. Shelby said on the Senate floor Thursday.

Ultimately, the Senate overwhelmingly agreed to sidestep Mr. Paul’s effort and proceeded with its vote to avert the shutdown before next week’s Thanksgiving recess.

When Congress returns, it will have less than one month to complete the appropriations process before another shutdown deadline arrives, along with a prospective impeachment trial in the Senate.

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer said Thursday he was hopeful the extension would give Congress the runway it needs to resolve its spending impasse before the end of the year.

“I’m optimistic that the passage of the continuing resolution today is something Congress can build from, a sign that appropriators from both sides of the aisle are ready to work together to settle government funding by the end of the calendar year,” Mr. Schumer said on the Senate floor.

Among the obstacles in the way of a longer term bipartisan solution are the ideological bases of both parties. The temporary spending solution was met with opposition from the conservative right and progressive left.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted, “Yeah, that’s gonna be a no from me dog” about the stopgap spending bill before voting against the House’s bill Tuesday, while House Freedom Caucus Chairman Andy Biggs of Arizona issued a statement labeling the bill an “indictment of failed Democratic leadership” before also voting no.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said at a press conference ahead of the Senate vote that she was heartened by the temporary spending fix and hoped the full appropriations process would be completed “expeditiously” next month.

• Ryan Lovelace can be reached at rlovelace@washingtontimes.com.

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