Senate passes stopgap bill to fund US government through December

Lawmakers approved a temporary spending bill on Wednesday to stave off the threat of a government shutdown until after the presidential election.

The short-term bill will fund the government through Dec. 11. It was approved by the Senate on Wednesday and will be sent to President Trump’s desk.

It passed the chamber by a margin of 84 to10.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told FOX Business during an interview on Wednesday that the measure had "broad, bipartisan support," and the administration would have discussions about future funding after the November election.

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The bipartisan agreement, which passed the House of Representatives last week, is the result of discussions between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Mnuchin.

The bill includes key priorities for both parties, including support for the Commodity Credit Corp., which was established in the 1930s to protect farm income and prices. It does, however, contain limits sought by Democrats to disallow some payments to the fossil fuel industry.

The continuing resolution, which will maintain funding at current levels, also contains $8 billion for nutrition assistance programs.

In order for the government to remain funded past Dec. 11, lawmakers either need to approve another continuing resolution, or reach an agreement on 12 appropriation bills for fiscal 2021.

However, approvals could potentially be required during a lame-duck session and a transition between administrations, which means lawmakers may face a renewed government shutdown threat before the start of a new Congress.

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Agreement on a temporary funding bill comes amid partisan division on a number of other key issues, including the possibility of another round of federal coronavirus relief, as well as President Trump’s nominee to fill the vacant seat on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Democratic leaders on Wednesday delayed voting on a $2.2 trillion coronavirus aid bill, as confirmed cases begin to rise in some states.