U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to reporters as he drives from the South Lawn at the White House in Washington to Minnesota on September 30, 2020.
Carlos Barria | Reuters
President Donald Trump signed a bill on Thursday to hold the government into December after funding briefly ran out.
The Senate passed the provisional spending bill by 84-10 on Wednesday as lawmakers scrambled to prevent a shutdown. The House approved the legislation last week.
The president did not approve the bill until Thursday's midnight deadline to fund the government, and the U.S. spending agency temporarily lapsed. However, the Bureau of Administration and Household has never ordered the agencies to cease operations.
Trump signed the measure early Thursday after returning from a campaign rally in Minnesota.
The law will ensure the government does not experience a crippling standstill during a pandemic and about a month before the 2020 elections.
It will keep federal agencies running until December 11th. Until then, lawmakers want to work out the spending laws to keep the government going until September 2021.
Democrats and Republicans reached an agreement on a temporary funding bill last week after disagreeing on whether to include agricultural aid money. Nancy Pelosi, spokeswoman for the House of Representatives, D-Calif, said the sides finally agreed on a proposal containing guard rails to prevent the agricultural funds from going to big oil companies.
She said the move includes $ 8 billion in food aid for school children and families, and refreshes the pandemic EBT food aid program for a full year.
Overcoming the shutdown threat would, in theory, give Congress more flexibility to resolve an ongoing dispute over structuring a fifth coronavirus aid package ahead of the election. Both Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Pelosi said Wednesday that they are "hopeful" about the prospect of a deal and will continue support discussions.
Democratic leaders and the Trump administration have made little headway towards a stimulus deal since a series of formal talks broke up last month. A battle for the Supreme Court vacancy is also likely to consume much of the Senate's pre-election time.
Republicans want Judge Amy Coney Barrett to quickly confirm Trump's decision to replace the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
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