WASHINGTON – Both chambers of the US Congress approved on Thursday a short-term funding resolution to avert a partial shutdown of the federal government, which would have run out of operating funds on Friday at midnight.
The Senate early Thursday evening passed the budget resolution in a 66-32 vote, whereas the House of Representatives had approved the measure earlier in the day in a 232-188 vote.
The votes unblock funds that will finance federal government operations through Jan. 19, 2018.
The Democratic opposition in the Senate had said that it would not oppose approving the resolution, whereby lawmakers are postponing the budget debate until January.
After the approval earlier this week in Congress of the tax reform plan – including significant tax cuts for corporations and some Americans – pushed by President Donald Trump, a move that handed him his greatest legislative success to date, a government shutdown would have been a heavy reversal.
The resolution allows funding federal government operations until Jan. 19 and includes emergency funds for reconstruction efforts in Florida, Puerto Rico and Texas after the passage of devastating hurricanes.
The Democrats are insisting that their support for the government funding is contingent on providing a solution for the roughly 800,000 young undocumented foreigners known as Dreamers and brought to the US as children, a group that Trump left unprotected by eliminating the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that allows them to live and work legally here.