President Donald Trump early Thursday morning signed a spending bill to keep the government open until December 11, according to a tweet from White House spokesman Judd Deere.
The President signed the bill upon returning to the White House from campaign stops in Minnesota. Trump did not sign the bill before the midnight deadline to keep the government open, but no federal operations were expected to be affected by the shutdown that lasted less than an hour.
The bill breezed through the Senate on Wednesday after having been approved by the House last week and had been sent for Trump’s signature just after 6 p.m. The President had left the White House for campaign stops about three-and-a-half hours before that vote.
By funding the government only until mid-December, the legislation still sets up the possibility of a funding fight and potential shutdown after the election and just before the start of a new Congress.
The continuing resolution, while far short of bipartisan full-year funding bills, is the product of bipartisan negotiation and an agreement between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin – one that had initially appeared to fall apart just a few weeks before the deadline.
The deal to avert a shutdown has so far proved to be a rare spot of bipartisan agreement at a time when partisan tensions are running especially high amid a high-stakes battle in the Senate over the confirmation of Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Amy Coney Barrett.
The agreement clinched by Pelosi and Mnuchin includes a provision that will likely send tens of billions of dollars to the Commodity Credit Corporation – a priority for Republicans and bipartisan members from agricultural states and districts – which will replenish crucial aid to farmers. It includes some restrictions, after Democrats raised concerns that the money was being utilized by the Trump administration to distribute funds to favored political interests.
The measure also includes nearly $8 billion in nutrition assistance – a central Democratic priority during the negotiations.
After negotiations broke down, Democrats had initially drafted a stopgap measure that left out the farm aid and nutrition assistance and had been poised to vote on that measure last week.
But the threat of moving the legislation without bipartisan consensus – and the possibility that Democrats from agriculture-heavy districts would defect – served to raise the risk of a government shutdown given the narrowing timeline before the September 30 government funding deadline, and ultimately both sides returned to the table and hammered out the deal.