House passes spending bill to avoid government shutdown

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Washington appears set to avoid a federal government shutdown this weekend after the US House of Representatives passed a key short-term spending bill allowing the government to remain open for another week of business.
The legislation, known as a stop-gap spending measure is expected to pass the Senate later in the day on Friday, allowing legislators to get to work on a long-term spending bill that would keep the government operating through September.

The debate over the long-term spending bill has exposed deep divisions in Congress, not just between Democrats and Republicans but between members of the Republican Party who are divided on key White House proposals such a sharp increase in defense spending couple with sharp cuts to the State Department.

While Republican legislators had hoped to come to a new agreement on the overhaul of US healthcare this week, they elected not to hold a vote on their new healthcare bill on Friday, a sign that they still have not found the support for the legislation that they need among moderate and ultra-conservative members of their party.

The decision to postpone the vote on the healthcare legislation is yet another blow for Donald Trump who, nearing the end of his first 100 days in the White House, has made no progress on the issue, despite highlighting it as a key priority.

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