U.S. Congress negotiators eye bill to avoid November 22 government
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[October 31, 2019]
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Members of
the U.S. Congress are maneuvering to avoid a potential partial
government shutdown next month by extending existing federal spending
for several weeks, a Democratic congressional aide said on Wednesday.
Under current law, money for the operations of an array of Washington
agencies expires on Nov. 21. Without either an extension of temporary
funds or the enactment of spending bills for the full fiscal year that
began on Oct. 1, many agency operations would be suspended.
The aide, who asked not to be identified, said such a second stopgap
spending bill might extend into early February, although talks are
Not only would a February deadline stave off government office closings
on Nov. 22, it also could avoid such a disruption at a time when the
House of Representatives could be embroiled in measures to impeach
President Donald Trump - a process that could result in his eventual
removal from office by the Senate.
A government shutdown would not prevent lawmakers from meeting to pursue
their impeachment effort. But it could add chaos and uncertainty at a
time when the political system would be under extraordinary pressure.
Progress has been slow on 12 appropriations bills that Congress attempts
to pass each year to fund agencies ranging from the U.S. Department of
Agriculture to the Defense Department, State Department and Homeland
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The U.S. Capitol is shown after the U.S. government reopened with
about 800,000 federal workers returning after a 35-day shutdown in
Washington, U.S., January 28, 2019. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
A Sept. 30 deadline already has been missed, requiring the first
stopgap bill that passed in September providing money through Nov.
One of the major disagreements revolves around Trump's demand for
billions of dollars to help build a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border.
Most Democrats and some Republicans object to the initiative, which
was a central promise of Trump's 2016 presidential campaign.
A related point of contention revolves around moves by some
Republicans to reduce spending for various other programs in order
to pay for building a wall that Trump argues will secure the
(Reporting by Richard Cowan; Editing by Peter Cooney)
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