Congress appears set to avoid a partial government shutdown


AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON — Republican and Democratic congressional leaders announced support for stopgap measure that would continue to fund the federal government until February 8, avoiding a partial government shutdown that would begin at midnight Friday.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says the Senate will vote on the bill Wednesday. He calls it “a simple measure” to show Republicans are governing.

“I think people are taking not of this – in the fact you can’t agree just on how to spend money just to keep things going,” Laura Wilson said, a political science professor at the University of Indianapolis.

Lawmakers have been at a stand-still over President Donald Trump’s demands for $5 billion to fund the border wall, a demand the White House seemed to back away from on Tuesday.

“Now if we have meaningful movement forward, I’m a logical person too,” Rep. Todd Rokita (R-Ind.) said in an interview with CBS4 Monday. “If we move the ball down the road we should support that. So I’m not saying $5 billion or nothing.”

The short-term compromise would still need President Trump’s signature.

“He’ll take a look at that certainly,” Kellyanne Conway said Wednesday afternoon, a counselor to the president. “This is all breaking news, in other words, what the Congress is going to put before him. A short term CR- or a CR that goes through February 8th keeps the government up and running but that doesn’t mean the president is backing down from an essential promise, not a campaign promise, a promise as President of the United States and our Commander in Chief to keep us safe.”

If approved, government funding would face yet another critical debate in February, this time in front of a divided Congress.

“I think people are starting to address that – the public in terms of a government shutdown,” Wilson said. “It seems like a routine thing we are go through every so often. It’s annoying, but it’s just part of the process.”

Editor’s note: The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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