WASHINGTON, DC – With a new fiscal year set to begin next week, the U.S. Senate voted 82-15 to approve a seven week stopgap appropriations bill to fund federal agencies through November 21.  The short-term appropriations bill gives lawmakers and the White House more time to reach agreement on the annual appropriations bills.  The bill now goes to President Trump for his signature and he is expected to sign it.

U.S. Senator Jack Reed, a senior member of the Appropriations Committee and Ranking Member of the panel’s Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) Subcommittee, issued the following statement:

“We’ve got to get the appropriations process back on track and responsibly fund the government.  The current impasse is largely a manufactured crisis of President Trump’s own making because he wants more money for his pet border wall project.

“President Trump failed to get Mexico to pay for the wall and it would be unfair for him to stick taxpayers with the bill or shut down the government again.  Both the wall and another shutdown would be wasteful.  We need to be fiscally responsible and effectively allocate federal funding to ensure taxpayers are getting a strong return on national investments.

“I am hopeful appropriators can come together and work out a bipartisan agreement to strengthen our economy and national defense and make critical investments in education, housing, public safety, infrastructure, and other areas of critical need.  Chairman Collins and I worked in a bipartisan basis on the Transportation, Housing, Urban Development section of the bill.   We need that bipartisan commitment to get this critical bill done and move our economy forward.”

Senator Reed noted that the stopgap spending bill requires the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to provide state-by-state data on the effects of President Trump’s trade war and extends the National Flood Insurance Program, several key health programs, and the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) for the length of the stopgap. 

Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard Shelby (R-AL) indicated he will soon meet with President Trump to discuss border wall funding and other issues which have held up the fiscal 2020 appropriations process.  House and Senate appropriators have spoken informally, but the process can’t move forward unless President Trump clearly articulates his position.