U.S. House approves short-term spending bill to avert government shutdown

by Reuters
Thursday, 6 December 2018 17:21 GMT

(Adds details about bill)

By Amanda Becker

WASHINGTON, Dec 6 (Reuters) - The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday approved a two-week stopgap spending bill that would avert a government shutdown, sending it to the Senate.

Without action by Congress, funding for several federal agencies, including the Department of Agriculture, State Department and Department of Homeland Security, would expire. The stopgap bill extends funding through Dec. 21.

Before the stopgap bill expires, the Republican-led Congress is expected to consider a $450 billion bill to fund the departments through the fiscal year that ends next Sept. 30.

President Donald Trump has demanded $5 billion this year as part of his plan to build a wall on the border with Mexico that Democrats argue would be ineffective at keeping out illegal immigrants and illicit drugs.

Instead, Democrats want to continue improving less costly fencing and employing high-tech instruments to detect illegal border crossings. (Reporting by Amanda Becker; additional reporting by Richard Cowan; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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