Congress sends stop­gap spend­ing bill to Trump

Mea­sure keeps gov­ern­ment run­ning through Dec. 22, when shut­down awaits

The Denver Post - - NEWS - By An­drew Tay­lor and Alan Fram

WASHINGTON» Congress on Thurs­day passed a stop­gap spend­ing bill to pre­vent a gov­ern­ment shut­down this week­end and buy time for chal­leng­ing talks on a wide range of un­fin­ished business on Capi­tol Hill. The shut­down re­prieve came as all 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 on a sweep­ing 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 heads to Trump for his sig­na­ture. 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.

These “Dreamer” im­mi­grants are viewed sym­pa­thet­i­cally by the pub­lic and most law­mak­ers but face de­por­ta­tion in a few months be­cause Trump re­versed ad­min­is­tra­tive pro­tec­tions pro­vided to them by former Pres­i­dent Barack Obama.

In back-to-back state­ments, Demo­cratic and GOP lead­ers de­clared the meet­ing “pro­duc­tive.” The White House called it “con­struc­tive.” Pri­vately, con­gres­sional aides said lit­tle progress had been made.

“We had a pro­duc­tive con­ver­sa­tion on a wide va­ri­ety of is­sues. Noth­ing spe­cific has been agreed to, but dis­cus­sions con­tinue,” said Capi­tol Hill’s top Democrats, Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York and Rep. Nancy Pelosi of Cal­i­for­nia, tick­ing off a ros­ter of Demo­cratic pri­or­i­ties, in­clud­ing do­mes­tic spend­ing in­creases, fund­ing for veter­ans and money to bat­tle opi­oid abuse, im­mi­gra­tion and health care.

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