The Senate voted 84 to 10 to pass a short-term funding bill, averting a government shutdown just hours before the deadline and teeing up another funding battle just in time for the holidays. President Trump is expected to sign the bill, passed by the House last week, later this evening. The bill is the product of negotiations between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Sec. Steve Munchin.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced earlier on Wednesday that the Senate would be voting on the temporary funding legislation. The bill also gives $8 billion in nutrition assistance programs, expands a program providing meals to low-income children, and prohibits farm aid distributed through the Commodity Credit Corporation from going to fossil fuel refiners and importers, according to The Hill.
The legislation will keep the federal bureaucracy running until Dec. 11, during which time Congress hopes to pass spending legislation to keep the federal government open through Sep. 2021. With immediate funding secured, Congress is expected to turn its full attention to the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court and a fifth coronavirus spending bill.
Trump's nomination of Barrett has taken priority in the Senate as Democrats appear unable to block the confirmation of Barrett to fill the vacancy left by the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Progress on a fifth coronavirus spending bill has stalled, but Sec. Mnuchin is expected to meet with Speaker Pelosi on Wednesday to resume negotiations. House Democrats proposed a $2 trillion relief package on Monday, but Senate Majority Leader McConnell says the price tag is "too high," as reported by CBS News.