House passes spending bill to reopen parts of the government

House passes spending bill to reopen parts of the government

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

WASHINGTON — The House of Representatives on Wednesday evening passed the first of a package of four spending bills to reopen parts of the government that have now been shut down for 18 days.

The measure passed 240 to 188. Eight Republicans voted with the Democratic majority.

The Financial Services and Government appropriations bill funds the Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service through Sep. 30. Passage comes as tax season has begun and many taxpayers are filing for their annual refunds.

On Thursday the House is expected to pass legislation to fund the departments of Agriculture and Interior. On Friday the House is expected to pass legislation to fund the Department of Transportation and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Nevertheless, the bills are considered dead on arrival in the Republican-controlled Senate because they do not include money for President Donald Trump’s border wall.

Earlier Wednesday Trump told reporters that he will declare a national emergency to build the wall if an agreement is not reached. He later walked out of a White House meeting with Democratic leaders after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told him that her party would not support funding a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, even if he took steps to reopen the government.

The House passed two spending bills last week to reopen the government. The Senate refused to take up the legislation.

The spending packages are nearly identical to legislation the upper chamber approved during the previous Congress.

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