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US House Passes Budget; Senate Next

  • VOA News

Budget Director Mick Mulvaney speaks to the media during the daily press briefing at the White House, May 2, 2017, in Washington.

The U.S. House of Representatives has passed a budget bill to fund the government through September — one without funding for the border wall President Donald Trump's promised during his campaign.

The $1.16 trillion spending bill passed with bipartisan support, 309 to 118. The bill now goes to the U.S. Senate, which is expected to approve it later this week before Trump signs it into law.

The spending bill averts a short-term crisis by authorizing federal spending through the end of the fiscal year, which is Sept. 30. But it must be signed by the president by Friday to avoid a government shutdown.

Trump, after failing to win congressional approval for many of his spending and policy priorities for the next five months, said Tuesday the government “needs a good ‘shutdown’ in September” when lawmakers will be debating the 2018 funding plan.

In a Twitter comment, Trump blamed the result of his first fight over federal spending on lawmaking rules in the Senate, where Republicans hold a 52-48 majority. But most major legislation requires a 60-vote supermajority in the 100-member chamber for approval, effectively requiring Republican and Democratic lawmakers to reach compromises.

Trump said the reason that Republicans could not prevail on all of his priorities in the trillion-dollar budget plan that pays for government spending through Sept. 30 “is that we need 60 votes in the Senate which are not there!”

The president said his party “either needs to elect more Republican Senators in 2018 or change the rules now to 51 percent. Our country needs a good ‘shutdown’ in September to fix mess!”

The U.S. government has not shut down since October 2013, when many agencies were closed for 16 days in a policy and funding dispute over then-President Barack Obama's national health care reforms, popularly known as Obamacare.

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