WASHINGTON — Congress has approved another stopgap funding measure that will keep the federal government running at least through Nov. 21.
To prevent a government shutdown next week, the U.S. Senate voted 82-15 Thursday on the temporary spending bill ahead of Congress' two-week recess. Louisiana Sens. Bill Cassidy and John Kennedy, both Republicans, voted in favor.
It is expected to get President Donald Trump's signature before the end of Monday.
The measure also contains language to temporarily extend the National Flood Insurance Program to prevent it from lapsing next week, as negotiations continue over a long-term NFIP plan.
House and Senate leaders, along with the Trump administration, had set broad parameters for a long-term spending proposal before Congress' annual August break, but they still haven't reached a final version to be spread over several individual appropriations bills.
The latest temporary extension of the NFIP — the program's 13th since 2017 — is set to expire Nov. 21, but Congress has been working to reach a bipartisan 5-year agreement.
The short-term spending proposal NFIP was tacked onto, formally known as a continuing resolution, punts the Republican-Democrat impasse over federal spending priorities, largely related to funding for the border wall on the U.S.-Mexico border that Trump supports.
The Democrat-controlled House passed its version of the annual appropriations bills to the GOP-controlled Senate, where the bills have stalled in the ongoing dispute between Republicans and Democrats over the wall and other priorities.
A similar dispute last year prompted Congress to continue passing temporary measures until ultimately allowing the longest-ever federal government shutdown, which stretched from Dec. 22, 2018, to Jan. 25, 2019.
The House passed the temporary measure in a 301-123 vote last week, with Louisiana's congressmen split over it: U.S. Reps. Steve Scalise, R-Jefferson, and Cedric Richmond, D-New Orleans, voted in favor and U.S. Reps. Garret Graves, R-Baton Rouge; Clay Higgins, R-Port Barre; and Mike Johnson, R-Benton, voted against. U.S. Rep. Ralph Abraham, an Alto Republican who is running for governor, was absent and did not vote on the measure.
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