Trump Signs Bill, Keeps Government Open

President Trump signed a stop-gag government spending bill early Thursday after slightly missing the midnight deadline while on travel to a campaign rally in Minnesota. The bill prevents a government shutdown effective through December 11. The Senate passed the $1.4 trillion resolution with a bipartisan vote of 84-10.

Fast-paced meetings were held in the Capitol on Wednesday in an effort to implement a compromise, including additional coronavirus economic relief, prior to Congress leaving for the November election recess. Despite their talks breaking down earlier, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin continued discussions with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, as they both agreed to keep trying.

Republican Senate leaders accused Democrats of stalling the measure’s procedural votes over their concerns of Trump’s Supreme Court nomination of Conservative judge Amy Coney Barrett earlier in the week.

The legislation passed now allows Congress more than two months to work out a deal for substantial funding by the newly enacted December 11 deadline. If passed, it will increase budgetary spending through the end of fiscal 2021. If it fails to pass the House, another stop-gag bill will be required to ensure government spending is funded into the new year.

House Democrats were pushing for a February 26 deadline to continue the resolution, which would work to their advantage if the November elections turn in their favor of winning back the Senate and the White House, while maintaining their majority in Congress.