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US Congress passes stopgap bill to keep government working


The US Congress approved Thursday legislation to further fund the government to avoid a shutdown. However, questions on funding for critical issues such as immigration, surveillance and healthcare were postponed into the next year, APA reports quoting Sputnik.

 

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The US House of Representatives has passed the stopgap measure to fund the work of the federal government until January 19, 2018. The bill passed the House by a 231-188 margin with a majority of Democrats opposing it.

 

According to the US-based media reports, this long awaited bill allegedly preserved Republicans from what would have been a great failure exactly after they have marked the most substantial tax cuts legislation in decades.

 

The US Senate has also given its approval by a 66-32, thus completing a highly intense year on Capitoll Hill under US President Donald Trump.

 

However, the inability to resolve a number of other important issues left some confused sentiment among lawmakers in both parties before Holidays. Promised bills to shield young immigrants from deportation, extend a surveillance program, bolster the military and stabilize health insurance markets were all left for the next year, The Hill reported.


Nevertheless, the passed bill extends Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act’s Section 702 that gives legal authority for eavesdropping on suspected foreign enemies until January 19, 2018. Congress will have to return to this issue of whether to impose new privacy safeguards on that program as part of a longer-term extension, US mediareported.

 

According to the passed legislation, programs enshrined in the government-wide stopgap funding measure include the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), US and Israeli Missile Defense programs, Social Security, and Medicaid programs for Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.

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