Congress is one step closer to avoiding another Pentagon and federal government shutdown, something leaders of both political parties fear heading into a crucial election homestretch.
The US House on Wednesday approved a $1 trillion stopgap appropriations bill on a vote of 319 in favor and 108 against that would fund the Defense Department and other federal agencies through Dec. 11.
Though another fiscal 2015 measure will be required by mid-December, if the Senate approves this measure lawmakers will head home for a seven-week campaign break without the threat of their party being blamed for a shutdown.
Passage looked likely in the Senate, where Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., devoted his opening speech Wednesday morning to giving an homage to “two individuals who have their deep, deep roots in Nevada [and] helped clinch the National League East Division for the Washington Nationals.”
No senator has threatened to filibuster the continuing resolution package, which the House sent over with an amendment authorizing the Obama administration to begin a program under which Syrian rebels would be trained and armed to fight the Islamic State.
Lawmakers and aides predict both chambers most likely will pass an omnibus spending bill during a November-December lame duck session following the midterm elections that would fund the Pentagon and other federal departments for much — or the remainder — of fiscal 2015.