Congress votes to avoid shut­down

Stop­gap spend­ing bill funds gov­ern­ment un­til Dec. 22

Albuquerque Journal - - WASHINGTON - BY AN­DREW TAY­LOR AND ALAN FRAM

WASH­ING­TON — Congress on Thurs­day passed a stop­gap spend­ing bill to pre­vent a gov­ern­ment shut­down this week­end and to buy time for chal­leng­ing talks on a wide range of un­fin­ished busi­ness on Capi­tol Hill. The shut­down re­prieve came as both sides is­sued op­ti­mistic takes on an af­ter­noon White House meet­ing be­tween top con­gres­sional lead­ers and Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump.

The mea­sure passed the House 235-193, mostly along party lines, and breezed through the Sen­ate 81-14 tally barely an hour later. It would keep the gov­ern­ment run­ning through Dec. 22, when another, and more dif­fi­cult, shut­down prob­lem awaits.

The bill now heads to Trump for his sig­na­ture.

New Mex­ico’s Demo­cratic Reps. Michelle Lu­jan Gr­isham and Ben Ray Lu­ján voted against the stop­gap spend­ing mea­sure.

Rep. Steve Pearce, the only Repub­li­can in the New Mex­ico del­e­ga­tion, voted for the bill.

In the Sen­ate, Demo­cratic Sens. Martin Hein­rich and Tom Udall of New Mex­ico voted for the mea­sure.

“Congress has the re­spon­si­bil­ity to fund the gov­ern­ment, and I could not sit here in Wash­ing­ton to­day and vote to shut it down,” Pearce said. “How­ever, my de­ci­sion to sup­port a two-week spend­ing ex­ten­sion was not an easy one to make. Con­tin­u­ing to pass short-term, patch­work spend­ing bills does noth­ing to sup­port our mil­i­tary, na­tional re­search fa­cil­i­ties, or pro­vide the cer­tainty that Amer­i­can busi­nesses need and de­serve. As a gov­ern­ment, we failed to com­plete a core re­spon­si­bil­ity.”

Topics at the White House ses­sion in­cluded re­lief from a bud­get freeze on the Pen­tagon and do­mes­tic agen­cies, ex­tend­ing a key chil­dren’s health pro­gram and aid to hur­ri­cane-slammed Puerto Rico, Texas and Florida.

The trick­i­est topic, and a top pri­or­ity for Democrats, in­volves pro­tec­tions for im­mi­grants brought to the coun­try il­le­gally as chil­dren. Trump re­versed ad­min­is­tra­tive pro­tec­tions pro­vided to them by for­mer Pres­i­dent Barack Obama un­der the De­ferred Ac­tion for Child­hood Ar­rivals pro­gram.

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