Impeachment isn't the only topic on Capitol Hill. The Republican-held Senate passed a temporary government-wide spending bill that would keep federal agencies running through Dec. 20 and avert a government shutdown after midnight Thursday. The spending bill, passed 74-20, would keep the federal government open for another month in hopes the additional time will help negotiators wrap up more than $1.4 trillion in unfinished appropriations bills, the AP reports. The vote sends the measure to President Trump for his signature. The stopgap spending bill would give negotiators four more weeks to try to break an impasse involving funding for Trump’s border wall project that has gridlocked progress on the 12 appropriations measures that fund about one-third of the government.
Talks on the full-year appropriations measures stalled after the administration rejected bipartisan entreaties to add about $5 billion to grease their path. Negotiations also could be buffeted by the toxic atmosphere that’s worsening during the impeachment probe, which could send articles of impeachment to the House floor around the Dec. 20 deadline for averting another shutdown. The chief holdup is Trump’s demands for up to $8.6 billion more for a US-Mexico border wall. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said, per the Washington Post, he was hopeful that Thursday's passage would become "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."
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