The U.S. Capitol. Photo: Stephen Melkisethian

Congress passes bill to avert shutdown of federal agencies for another two weeks

UPDATE: President Trump signed H.J.Res.123 into law on Friday afternoon.

Congress cleared a bill to keep the federal government up and running until December 22.

H.J.Res.123, the Further Continuing Appropriations Act, maintains funding at current levels. That means the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Indian Health Service won't see increases that were included in an appropriations bill that was being considered on Capitol Hill over the summer.

The Interior appropriations bill, which passed the House but not the Senate, would have provided $2.87 billion for the BIA and $5.13 billion for the IHS. Both amounts represented increases above 2017 and above the request President Donald Trump submitted to Congress earlier this year.

President Donald Trump must still sign H.J.Res.123 into law on Friday to avert the shutdown. Talks continue among Republicans and Democrats for a longer-term deal, according to news reports.

The Senate passed by the bill on Thursday by a vote of 84 to 14. The "Nays" came from about an equal number of Republicans and Democrats.

The House passed H.J.Res.123 by a vote of 235 to 193 on Thursday. Almost all of the "Nays" were from Democrats.

Read More on the Story:
Senate sends funding bill to Trump to avert shutdown (The Hill December 7, 2017)
Congress clears spending bill, averting shutdown (POLITICO December 7, 2017)
Congress passes short-term deal to stave off shutdown, setting up late-December spending fight (The Washington Post December 7, 2017)
Congress Approves Two-Week Stopgap Measure to Keep Government Funded (The New York Times December 7, 2017)