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Trump signs temporary spending bill to prevent gov't shutdown

(Xinhua)    23:01, October 01, 2020

WASHINGTON, Oct. 1 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Donald Trump on early Thursday signed a temporary spending bill to keep the federal government running into December, a few minutes after the funding lapsed, according to White House spokesman Judd Deere.

Trump approved the bill after returning from a re-election campaign rally in the northern U.S. state of Minnesota.

The White House Office of Management and Budget said in a memo on Wednesday that federal agencies would not be impacted should Trump miss the midnight deadline to sign the bill, Politico reported.

The U.S. Senate passed the spending bill on Wednesday in an 84-10 vote, just a few hours before the annual spending bill would expire and the government was set to shut down.

House lawmakers approved the bill with a bipartisan vote of 359-57 last week, after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi reached an agreement with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Republicans on the so-called continuing resolution legislation, which includes 8 billion U.S. dollars in additional food assistance and 21 billion dollars in farm aid.

The agreement will take the threat of a shutdown prior to the November presidential election off the table, but sets up the possibility of a funding fight and potential shutdown after the election and just before the start of a new Congress, according to a report by CNN.

The last government shutdown, from December 2018 to January 2019, was triggered by an impasse over funding for Trump's proposed U.S.-Mexico border wall. It lasted for 35 days, the longest on record.

The stopgap funding measure came as Democratic and Republican lawmakers remain deadlocked over the next COVID-19 relief package, which is much needed to salvage an economy reeling from the pandemic.

Pelosi and Mnuchin resumed their talks earlier this week over a 2.2-trillion-dollar relief proposal newly unveiled by House Democrats, a scaled-back version of a 3.4-trillion-dollar package the Democratic-held House passed in May.

Some Senate Republicans have signaled they are not willing to support any package that costs over 1.5 trillion dollars. Sticking points in negotiations include more aid for state and local government and liability protections for businesses.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: He Zhuoyan, Bianji)

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