Trump Signs Short-Term Spending Bill to Avert Government Shutdown

November 21, 2019 Updated: November 21, 2019

President Donald Trump signed a short-term spending measure to avert a government shutdown—just hours before the midnight deadline.

Trump signed the bill to fund the federal government through Dec. 20.

The House had passed the continuing resolution earlier this week before sending it to the Senate, which approved the bill before it was sent to Trump’s desk on Thursday evening. The Senate passed it 74-20 earlier in the day.

Some lawmakers have remarked to media outlets that with the Thanksgiving holiday looming, they will only have about 15 working days to come up with a new deal before the Christmas break.

Last December, a battle over border wall funding, which Democrats largely oppose, triggered a 35-day government shutdown that lasted until the next year.

“I am optimistic that the passage of the continuing resolution today is something Congress can build from, a sign that appropriators from both sides of the aisle are ready to work together to settle government funding by the end of the calendar year,” Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) had told reporters Thursday morning.

“These are things we must do,” said Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) as he lamented the lack of a full-year spending package. “There are plenty of optional things that aren’t being done because we can’t philosophically agree on them,” he told reporters on Nov. 20,

He added: “But government spending, the defense bill we passed each year since 1961, the trade agreement with Mexico and Canada sitting there un-acted upon? Really, this is outrageous and needs to come to a stop.”

The Senate voted down an amendment from Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) that would have enacted a 1 percent spending cut.

“Whether it’s our highways or our bridges or our waterways, our infrastructure in America is falling behind. Everyone knows it, but like so many things, Washington can’t figure out how to fix it,” Paul said, according to the Washington Times.

“Politicians on both sides of the aisle talk about trillion-dollar infrastructure plans but offer no way to pay for it. My plan is much more modest, doesn’t increase taxes, and doesn’t increase our debt. The penny plan for infrastructure pays for this with money we’ve already allocated, and to be clear, we do have the money, Washington just spends it in inappropriate ways.”

Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.), and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin met on the resolution.