U.S. House passes bill to avert government shutdown

ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION)
The U.S. House of Representatives on Friday overwhelmingly passed stopgap legislation to avert a government shutdown at midnight and give lawmakers another week to reach a deal on federal spending through the end of the fiscal year.
After the House passed the measure by a tally of 382-30, the legislation went the Senate, where Republican leaders hope to take it up later in the day, approve it and send it to President Donald Trump to sign into law.
The bill in the Republican-led Congress provides federal funding until May 5, allowing lawmakers to hammer out legislation over the next few days to keep the government funded for the rest of the fiscal year that ends Sept. 30.
Congress has been tied in knots over $1 trillion in spending priorities for months. Lawmakers were supposed to have taken care of the current fiscal year appropriations bills by last Oct. 1.
“The legislation should pass today and it will carry us through next week so that a bipartisan agreement can be reached,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said at the opening of the Senate’s session, noting cooperation from Democrats.
While House Democrats strongly backed the legislation, Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said progress was still needed in talks with Republicans before Democrats in the chamber can support the stopgap bill.
During debate in the House, lawmakers expressed frustration at the inability of Congress to take care of the basic functions of government in a timely manner.
“Let’s make sure these basics are done for the American people and then let’s get about the important business of changing their tax code and making sure they have the best healthcare in the world,” said Republican Representative Tom Cole of Oklahoma.
“We are seven months into the fiscal year,” added Representative Nita…

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