Senate approves stopgap spending bill in key step to avoid shutdown

Senate approves stopgap spending bill in key step to avoid shutdown

WASHINGTON – The Senate passed a short-term spending bill late Wednesday to fund the government through Feb. 8 – without added funds for President Trump’s border wall with Mexico.

The legislation passed by voice vote on the Senate floor after several senators were singing Christmas carols in the back of the chamber to urge their colleagues to avoid a holiday government shutdown at midnight Friday.

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) took the Christmas corniness one step further as he presided over a procedural vote. He announced that “Rudolph” voted “present.”

It’s now up to the House to continue the holiday cheer. The legislation is headed there for vote Thursday.

Trump would then have to sign the stopgap measure into law, despite pledging last week he’d be proud to shut down the government if Congress didn’t give him $5 billion for his border wall.

“It’s good that our Republican colleagues in the Senate finally realized that they should not shut down the government over a wall that does not have enough support to pass the House or Senate and is not supported by a majority of the country,” Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said after the vote.

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