Congress passes short-term spending bill, averting shutdown for now

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Last Updated Apr 28, 2017 12:04 PM EDT

The House and Senate on Friday passed a short-term spending bill to fund the government, averting a shutdown at midnight.

Lawmakers in the House approved the measure in a 382-30 vote and the Senate shortly thereafter approved it by voice vote. It was only meant to buy more time to craft a more comprehensive spending deal that would fund the government through the rest of the fiscal year, or Sept. 30.

The short-term bill, known as a continuing resolution (CR), extends fiscal 2016 government funding levels through next Friday. Lawmakers are expected to reach the longer-term deal soon, which is known as an omnibus spending package.

Negotiators overcame two major obstacles this week to reach an agreement on the omnibus when the White House conceded that the administration doesn’t need funding for the border wall yet and dropped its threat to halt Obamacare payments.

House Democrats on Thursday threatened to oppose the CR if House Republicans decided to hold a floor vote on their revised health care bill to repeal and replace Obamacare, but GOP leaders decided late Thursday that they would delay the vote. They spent the day lobbying undecided lawmakers and those who are against the new version.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York, appeared to oppose the CR late Thursday in an attempt to gain leverage in the larger spending talks. A Democratic Senate aide said that there are still “poison pill riders” involved in the larger negotiation concerning environmental regulations, e-cigarettes and financial services consumer protections.

The White House had also asked Congress to cut $18 billion from non-defense domestic programs in the spending measure. Lawmakers are expected to ignore this request, especially since appropriators are now seven months into the new fiscal year and have been working on their 2017 spending bills for nearly a year.

If Congress is able to pass the omnibus next week, the next spending showdown is expected this fall, as they’ll need to pass a new package by Oct. 1. Lawmakers will likely have to strike a budget deal to lift spending caps put in place by a 2011 law and then find a way to address raising the debt ceiling.

CBS News’ Steven Portnoy and Alan He contributed to this report. 

© 2017 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Source: CBS News – Moneywatch

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