Congress is taking big strides to defuse President Trump’s shutdown threat, working to pass as many spending bills as possible before next month’s deadline so most of the government will remain open no matter what Mr. Trump demands on border security.
On Wednesday, the Senate cleared a $154 billion package that funds the Food and Drug Administration, the IRS and other programs for 2019. Senators now have passed seven of the 12 bills needed to keep the government open. The House has passed six.
Those measures still need to be reconciled in a conference committee, but lawmakers are pushing to have as many as nine bills completed before the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30, putting those operations on firm footing and outside the reach of a government shutdown.
“This is actually the way this work is supposed to be done,” said Sen. Roy Blunt, Missouri Republican. “It’s supposed to be done before the 30th of September. It’s supposed to be done in smaller packages where members have a chance to debate the amendments on the floor, and we’re doing that.”
It has been years since Congress passed even one of the dozen bills on time, and Democrats and Republicans are intent on doing better this year to avoid an election-eve shutdown showdown.
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