Trump signs bill averting government shutdown
US President Donald Trump, facing a midnight deadline on Friday, signed a one-week extension of expiring federal funding to avoid a government shutdown and to provide more time for separate talks on COVID-19 relief and an overarching spending bill, according to Reuters.
The Republican-led Senate passed the bill on Friday afternoon after the Democratic-majority House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved the measure on Wednesday.
Without this legislation, an array of government programs faced partial shutdown, ranging from some airport operations to national parks and State Department activities.
With only a week before its next deadline on Dec. 18, Congress now will focus on passing a $1.4 trillion bill to keep federal operations running through September 2021.
If it fails to reach an agreement by then, Congress would either have to pass another stopgap funding bill or trigger government closures.
Meanwhile, negotiators were trying to reach a separate agreement on a new coronavirus aid bill, which they want to attach to the massive spending bill.
Months of deep disagreements remained between the two political parties over the size and shape of such a bill, which would help stimulate the U.S. economy and bolster efforts to battle COVID-19.