Eli Ridder | WASHINGTON
United States President Donald Trump ended a three-day government shutdown Monday evening by signing a temporary spending bill into law after it passed the Senate and the House of Representatives hours earlier.
The stopgap funding bill will fund the government for the next three weeks through to Feb. 8 including a six-year re-authorization of the Children’s Health Insurance Program and delays taxes for the Affordable Care Act, or “Obamacare”.
The deal struck by Democrats and Republicans in Congress contains $31 billion in tax cuts, including a temporary delay in implementing three health care-related taxes.
The Senate passed a revised bill earlier in the day with the vote 81 to 18 before the House voted 266 to 150, with 60 more “yes” votes then the four-week version passed by the lower house last week.
A press secretary release posted by U.S. media includes more specific information on budgetary extensions.
Shortly after 6 p.m., the House of Representatives passed the temporary spending bill with 266 voting in favor and 150 against, meaning there were an extra 60 “yes” votes then the four-week version passed by the House last week.
At 7:29 p.m. on Monday evening, House Speaker Paul Ryan tweeted an image of himself signing the Congress-approved stopgap budget bill at Capitol Hill, sending the legislation to the White House.
The more contentious vote, however, was in the Senate, where lawmakers agreed to a deal earlier on Monday with a final vote passing at 5 p.m. with 81 for and 18 against.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Democrats supported the bill on condition that the Republicans address the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program to allow for children of illegal immigrants to stay in the country.
“We will vote today to re-open the government to continue negotiating a global agreement,” the Democratic senator said, explaining that he holds out hope for continued talks with Republicans over the DACA program.
The program allows some 700,000 illegal immigrant children to stay and work in the United States, known as “Dreamers” and came into effect under the administration of former U.S. President Barack Obama.
Democrats are working to protect the Dreamers after Mr. Trump rescinded the policy in September of last year.
Democratic Senators Joe Manchin and Doug Jones met with the president Monday afternoon to discuss the future of immigration, reported CNN news agency.
“There were no promises made. We weren’t getting into the weeds on anything,” Manchin was quoted by CNN as saying.
Jones said that the meeting “was not a negotiation”but Manchin described Trump as being “in a good place in this meeting. He wants this all to work.”
Jones, recently elected in an Alabama special election upset over Trump-backed Roy Moore, said the president was “in a very attentive listening mood.”
Image from Almanar news agency.