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Senate approves bill to keep government open through holidays

Plan does not include Trump’s border wall

The Senate passed a short-term spending bill Wednesday that would avoid a government shutdown and keep it open through the holidays.

The current spending bill was set to expire, and the government shut down on Friday, however, if passed in the House and signed by the president, this bill would prevent that.

The previous funding bill was passed just a couple weeks before to avoid the last potential shutdown and give Congress more time to debate certain topics such as President Donald Trump’s border wall.

This new bill does not include the president’s requested $5 billion funding for the wall, leaving some to wonder if he will sign to bill to avoid a shutdown. Previously, Trump stated that he was willing to let the government shut down if he didn’t receive the funding, saying, “I am proud to shut down the government for boarder security.”

The new bill will fund the remaining parts of the government through February 8, 2019. The House is expected to also pass the bill. And now, White House officials say it’s likely that the president will sign the short-term spending bill.

Among other things, this bill would extend the National Flood Insurance Program, which is set to expire on Friday, to February. But one senator said that’s not good enough.

Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., chair of the Sandy Task Force and the policy expert on flood insurance, joined Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., on the Senate floor Wednesday to draw attention to the increased risks of climate change and call for passage of the SAFE NFIP Act.

“I’ve spent the better part of the past two years bringing Democrats and Republicans together in support of such a plan, and yet, the majority has stubbornly refused to debate our legislation, forcing us to pass short-term reauthorizations that preserve a broken status quo,” Menendez said. “And like the totality of the climate threat, when it comes to flood insurance, every time we kick the can down the road, the can only gets heavier.”

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