House Passes Bills To Fund Transportation Dept., Agriculture, Housing & Urban Development And More
The Democrat-controlled House of Representatives passed a package of bills on Thursday to fund several federal departments, including Housing and Urban Development and the Department of Transportation.
Lawmakers voted 244-180 to approve the measure. Twelve GOP members — including Reps. Peter King (R-NY) and Steve Stivers (R-OH) joined Democrats in voting yes for the bills.
Congress’s lower chamber also voted 243-183 to separately fund the Department of Agriculture and other agencies through Sept. 30. Ten Republicans voted in favor of this legislation, which includes funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). This would ensure millions of Americans continue to receive food stamp benefits.
The #TrumpShutdown is blackmailing the American people, holding the country hostage in order to build an unnecessary, un-American border wall. I spoke on the House floor yesterday to support a funding bill that would re-open critical government agencies. This shutdown must end. pic.twitter.com/sL4Nk58H77
— (((Rep. Nadler))) (@RepJerryNadler) January 11, 2019
The measures came as the partial government shutdown entered its 20th day, thus inching closer to becoming the longest one in the nation’s history. Many of the 800,000 federal workers who have been left without pay as a result of the shutdown have taken to the streets of Washington, D.C. to protest this week as they are set to miss their first paycheck of 2019.
The government closed at midnight on Dec. 21 after lawmakers failed to pass legislation to keep it funded through early February. Now, Democrats, Republicans and President Donald Trump remain locked in a standoff over Trump’s insistence on $5.7 billion in funding for a U.S.-Mexico border wall as a way to stop undocumented immigrants from crossing over. Trump delivered a nationally televised address on the issue Tuesday night, although Democrats’ response to it earned higher ratings.
Recent polls have shown around 47 percent of Americans blame Trump and the GOP for the shutdown, while fewer voters appear to blame Democratic lawmakers. Congressional Democrats have accused Trump and Republicans of holding the government hostage as many departments and agencies, like the Food and Drug Administration, have furloughed employees or suspended activities.
On Thursday, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) — the Senate Majority Leader — blocked a pair of House-passed funding bills to reopen the government. One of these measures is to fund the Department of Homeland Security through Feb. 8.
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