Senate approves $146.5 billion government funding package

Senate approves $146.5 billion government funding package

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U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. (Gage Skidmore/ Flickr)

WASHINGTON – The Senate Wednesday evening approved a $146.5 billion appropriations package that partially funds the government ahead of the Sep. 30 fiscal year deadline.

The measure passed 92-5. Three Democrats voted no as did two Republicans.

The first iteration in the three-part “minibus” series includes $97 billion for military construction and the Department of Veterans Affairs. It includes $46 billion for energy and water programs as well as $4.8 billion for the legislative branch.

The legislation funds three of the twelve annual spending bills that fund the government.

The Senate worked through the August recess to approve the nine other bills. The House adjourned for August recess and has only approved three of the appropriations bills.

Even if both chambers approve the two outstanding minibus packages, a continuing resolution (CR) is needed to fund the approximately ten percent of the government not covered by the minibus.

The House is expected to consider the minibus on Thursday.

President Donald Trump has threatened a government shutdown at the end of the month if Congress does not fund the construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

GOP congressional leaders have downplayed the threat of a shutdown. They hope to postpone the fight over wall funding until after the November mid-term elections.

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