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Trump Signs CR Into Law, Avoiding Government Shutdown

Measure had easily cleared Senate and House

President Donald Trump on Friday signed the stopgap spending measure, which gives Congress an additional week to complete work on the fiscal 2017 omnibus spending bill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)
President Donald Trump on Friday signed the stopgap spending measure, which gives Congress an additional week to complete work on the fiscal 2017 omnibus spending bill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 8:45 p.m. | President Donald Trump on Friday evening signed into law a one-week continuing resolution that gives Congress more time to work through disagreements in a massive fiscal 2017 wrapup.

The Senate earlier in the day had cleared the CR that will keep the government from a shutdown for another week.

The chamber’s approval, by voice vote, followed a bipartisan vote in the House in favor of the latest stopgap. Current funding would have run out at midnight.

The extra week should give negotiators time to seal the deal on an omnibus spending bill running through September.

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer said Appropriations Committee staff stayed up until 1:30 a.m. Thursday continuing to hash out differences on the omnibus spending package.

“But we still have some progress to go,” the New York Democrat said.

Senior Appropriations Committee aides have been regularly burning the midnight oil to finalize the agreement. Schumer had blocked an attempt by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to preemptively deem the continuing resolution passed upon its arrival from the House on Friday, necessitating the Friday session.

“We’re willing to extend things for a little bit more time in hopes that the same kind of progress can continue to be made, but we still have a little bit of a ways to go, we still have some poison pill riders that they have to drop,” Schumer told reporters of the state of play on the broader bill Friday morning.

Republican and Democratic sources signaled that additional policy riders had entered the conversation, including language related to blocking provisions of the Dodd-Frank financial regulator overhaul and the National Labor Relations Board.

House Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md., said it was his understanding that Speaker Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin wanted to see the omnibus filed in the House on Monday, setting up likely floor votes on Thursday. That would give the Senate a short window to clear that measure before the newly passed continuing resolution is set to lapse.

The one-week continuing resolution, which is nothing more than a date change, also extends health care benefits for coal miners that have been at issue throughout the spending debate.

 McConnell highlighted that issue Friday morning in opening the Senate floor.

“Importantly, this one-week extension will also ensure that thousands of retired coal miners and their families, including many in my home state of Kentucky and home state of the presiding officer, West Virginia, will not lose their health care benefits. Protecting these miners and their families from losing their health care has been a top priority of mine as well as the occupant of the chair,”

The Republican made the remarks while Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., was presiding over the Senate. She along with her Democratic colleague from West Virginia Joe Manchin III have been among the most vocal advocates of benefits for the miners.

It appeared that in addition to miner benefits, the omnibus would include funding to help address a Medicaid crisis in Puerto Rico.

McConnell said the stopgap “will carry us through next week so that a bipartisan final agreement can be reached and so that members will have time to review the legislation before we take it up.”

Kellie Mejdrich, Bridget Bowman and Jennifer Shutt contributed to this report.

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