On Friday, Congress approved a one-week, stopgap spending bill to avoid a government shutdown this weekend. This bill allows lawmakers to have more time to negotiate a more extensive budget deal.
After a voice vote, the spending measure passed the Senate after clearing the House on a bipartisan 382-30 vote. It now goes to President Trump’s desk.
Lawmakers had been facing a midnight deadline to pass a new funding bill. They will now continue to work on a bigger, $1 trillion budget package, under a new deadline of next Friday.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said earlier that bargainers were “very close” to an agreement. But highlighting continuous battles over environmental and financial regulations. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer continued to object to what he called “poison pill riders.”
The bipartisan budget talks had become easier after the White House dropped a threat to withhold payments that help lower-income Americans pay their medical bills, as well as President Trump abandoning a demand for money for a border wall with Mexico.
On the separate health care bill, House Republican leaders are still searching for votes from their own party.
Without a vote planned on Friday, Trump will finish his first 100 days without a major legislative accomplishment.
House Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions said it’s possible they could entertain a health care bill next week. “A definite maybe,” he said.
Republicans have gone back and reviewed the first version of Trump’s healthcare plan which allows states to escape a requirement under President Barack Obama’s 2010 law that lets insurers charge healthy and seriously ill customers the same rates. They could also be exempt from Obama’s mandate that forces insurers to cover a list of services, such as hospitalization and substance abuse treatment.
The overall legislation would cut the Medicaid program for low-income people, eliminate Obama’s fines for people who don’t buy insurance and provide generally lower subsidies.
Over a dozen Republicans, mostly moderates, said they were opposing the legislation. Many others remained publicly uncommitted, putting party leaders in a difficult situation. House Speaker Paul Ryan, hoping to avoid another embarassment, abruptly canceled a vote because of opposition from both moderates and conservatives.
On Wednesday, conservatives in the House Freedom Caucus announced their support for the revised health legislation.