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House approves a short-term bill to keep government open

Monday's compromise legislation was presented by a top Democrat. It would allow the government to continue functioning until March 11, and give lawmakers more time for finishing overdue spending bills.

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House approves a short-term bill to keep government open

A Congressional approval, which was expected, in the coming days would prevent a federal shutdown that could occur when temporary funding ends on February 18. The Senate schedule was not clear, but a vote in the House was scheduled for Tuesday.

Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), Chair of the House Appropriations Committee, stated that "We are close" to a framework funding agreement in a statement referring to bipartisan negotiations over bills covering agency budgets for this year. "But we will require additional time to complete this legislation in its entirety."

The bill, which is short-term, would maintain spending levels from last year. However, it contains $350 million to allow the military to remove fuel from underground tanks in Hawaii that are located near Pearl Harbor. These tanks have been accused of contaminating local water. Around 1,000 people have reported water smelling like fuel since November.

Contrary to previous years, neither party is seeking to have a political fight that would lead to an election-year government shutdown.

Democrats in Congress and the White House want to prove that they can govern effectively. Republicans who want to win the House and Senate majorities in November don't want distractions from inflation and other issues.

The federal fiscal year ends Sept. 30. The government has not completed any of the 12 annual spending bills and is now in its fifth month at the spending levels approved by President Donald Trump's last months.

Negotiators are trying to negotiate overall defense and domestic program spending levels so that they can start writing detailed bills. They are also negotiating policy provisions such as the long-standing restrictions on federal money being used to pay for abortions.

"We are close, but it hasn't been concluded yet," said Sen. Richard Shelby, an Alabama Republican and top Republican on Senate Appropriations Committee. He spoke about overall spending targets.

They aim to complete all 12 spending bills and submit them to President Joe Biden by March 11 for his signature.

Because the House is leaving later this week, lawmakers are trying to complete the latest stop-gap legislation before the recess lasts more than two weeks. The Senate will be in session for two weeks, then take a week off.

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