U.S. Congress, White House mull stop-gap funding bill to avoid
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[November 06, 2019]
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S.
Congress and the White House are discussing legislation to keep U.S.
government agencies operating beyond Nov. 21 when existing funding
expires, with an eye toward avoiding shutdowns as Democrats could be
moving to impeach President Donald Trump, lawmakers and a White House
official said on Tuesday.
Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby, a Republican,
told reporters that a range of dates were possible for the duration of
the next stop-gap funding bill.
A bill lasting until mid-December or even well into 2020 was possible.
"My assessment the other day was it would probably go through February.
I could be totally wrong," Shelby said of a temporary spending bill that
would be needed because Congress has failed to finish work on any of the
dozen regular appropriations bills for fiscal 2020, which began on Oct.
Democrats in the House of Representatives have launched a formal
impeachment inquiry into Trump's actions related to the withholding of
U.S. security assistance to Ukraine.
By late November or December, the House could be engaged in a full-blown
debate and votes on articles of impeachment against Trump. If passed by
the House, Trump would then be subjected to a trial by the Senate in a
procedure that could end with his removal from office if found guilty of
any House charges.
He denies any wrongdoing.
Both Republicans and Democrats are mindful of the political chaos that
could ensue if Congress was in the midst of an impeachment battle with
Trump as a partial government shutdown was triggered over the lack of
[to top of second column]
After the U.S. House of Representatives voted to endorse the
impeachment inquiry, a journalist can be seen on the phone as storm
clouds gather over the White House in Washington, U.S. October 31,
2019. REUTERS/Leah Millis
Such dysfunction in Washington could rattle global financial markets
while causing deep concerns domestically about the federal
government's ability to endure two crises at once.
Late last year and early this year a record-long 35-day government
shutdown of some agency functions occurred after Congress refused to
give Trump the money he demanded to build a wall along the
The same dispute has slowed action on the fiscal 2020 spending
White House legislative liaison Eric Ueland told reporters that
Trump would go along with another stop-gap funding bill, known as a
continuing resolution, so long as it "does not restrict his
authorities or ability to pursue his policy priorities including
(Reporting by Richard Cowan; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)
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