Washington, Jan 26: The U.S. House of Representatives on Friday passed a stopgap bill that would fund the government for the next three weeks, sending the bill to the White House for ratification.
The bill was approved unanimously. U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to sign the bill later Friday, ending a record 35-day-long government shutdown. The bill would fund the government until Feb. 15, giving the White House and the Democrats three weeks to work out a deal regarding border security.
The swift passage of the bill came one day after the Senate blocked two competing measures that would reopen the government, backed by the White House and the Democrats respectively. The pressure from the shutdown mounted Friday morning with the halting of flights bound for LaGuardia Airport of New York due to staff shortage. Trump told an impromptu press conference on Friday that an agreement has been reached to open the government without funding for a border wall, which had been the thorny issue preventing earlier deals.
Despite the apparent concession, Trump threatened a second shutdown or call for state of emergency if both sides fail to reach an agreement within the next three weeks. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who had disinvited Trump from a state of the union address on Jan. 29 citing government shutdown, said she would consider inviting Trump again after the government reopens.
The U.S. government went into partial shutdown on Dec. 22 after the White House and the Democrats failed to agree on whether to allocate fund for a physical wall on the U.S. Southern border.
The shutdown spooked the economy, disrupted air traffic and affected 800,000 federal workers, many of whom were furloughed or forced to work without pay. (UNI)