Washington, January 17: The U.S. House of Representatives has passed a measure to reopen the federal government through February 8. The Democratic bill was approved 237-187 on Wednesday, mostly along party lines, but appears dead on arrival in the Republican-controlled Senate. The measure also provided approval for $14 billion in emergency spending for recent hurricanes, wildfires and other natural disasters.
The White House said President Donald Trump will veto the bill, calling it unacceptable without a broader agreement to address what Trump calls a crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border. Some Republicans accused Democrats of politicizing disaster aid, noting that the bill put many GOP lawmakers who support Trump’s proposed border wall in the position of voting against disaster aid for their own districts.
House Appropriations Chairwoman Nita Lowey said the bill would help families and communities recover from disasters while reopening the government.
Earlier on Wednesday, the White House said Trump signed a bill that will require some 800,000 federal employees to be compensated for wages lost or work performed during the partial government shutdown.
Wednesday’s bill signing was closed to the media. The House and Senate had voted to give the workers back pay whenever the federal government reopens.
On the other side, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi asked President Donald Trump to reschedule his State of the Union address this month if the government remains shuttered – or deliver it in writing.