House approves $855 billion spending bill to prevent government shutdown

House approves $855 billion spending bill to prevent government shutdown

U.S. Capitol (Photo: Flickr/Mark Fischer)

WASHINGTON – The House of Representatives Wednesday afternoon approved a $855 billion spending bill that funds most of the government through Sep. 30, 2019.

The measure passed 361-61.

The legislation provides $674.4 billion for the Department of Defense. It also allocates $178.1 billion for the departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and related agencies.

The legislation includes a stopgap measure that funds the remainder of the government at existing levels through Dec. 7, 2018. The stopgap measure prevents a government shutdown when current funding expires at midnight on Oct. 1.

The Senate approved the measure last week.

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

However, GOP congressional leaders say they are confident they can delay the fight over wall funding until after the November midterm elections.

“Yes, I’m confident he (Trump) will sign it,” House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said in reference to the legislation at a news conference on Wednesday.

Today the House also approved $1.7 billion in aid to assist victims of Hurricane Florence.

Last week the storm battered the coasts of North and South Carolina. An estimated 37 people were killed. Hundreds of thousands are still without electricity.

The aid package is attached to legislation that reauthorizes funding for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for five years.

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