Congress OKs bill averting Saturday gov’t shutdown

WASHINGTON — With just hours to spare, Congress easily approved a short-term spending bill Friday that would prevent a partial federal shutdown over the weekend. But on President Donald Trump’s 99th day in office, lawmakers were leaving until next week without completing two other measures he’s coveted: A Republican health care overhaul and a budget financing government for the entire year.

The Senate sent the temporary spending measure to Trump by voice vote after the House approved it by a lopsided 382-30 vote. The bill keeps the government functioning through next Friday, which leaders hope will give bipartisan bargainers enough time to finish a $1 trillion package financing government through Sept. 30, the end of the fiscal year.

But in a disappointment for the White House, Trump was destined to serve his 100th day in office — Saturday — without being able to claim victories on health care and a yearlong budget.

The White House had pressured GOP leaders to push legislation replacing President Barack Obama’s health care law through the House this week, in time for Trump to claim bragging rights by the symbolic 100th day. But late Thursday, House leaders abandoned that effort for now after falling short of the votes they would need for passage.

“As soon as we have the votes, we’ll vote on it,” House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., told reporters.

The struggle over both bills was embarrassing to the GOP, which has Trump in the White House and majorities in Congress. Republicans would have preferred to not be laboring to keep agencies functioning or approve a health care overhaul, the gold standard of GOP campaign promises for the past seven years.

On the spending bill, minority Democrats had threatened to withhold support for the temporary spending bill unless there was a bipartisan deal on the long-term $1 trillion measure. But they voted for it anyway, citing expectations that disagreements would be resolved.

Most core decisions about agency budgets have been worked out, but unrelated policy issues — such as a Democratic…

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