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US House passes Democratic bill to reopen government

The shutdown has resulted from a dispute over border wall funding. Democrats remain opposed to Trump's demand for $5.7 billion. They say they'll discuss border security once the government reopens.

Published: 17th January 2019 04:55 AM  |   Last Updated: 17th January 2019 04:55 AM   |  A+A-

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (File Photo | AP)

By Associated Press

WASHINGTON: The House has passed a Democratic measure to reopen the government through Feb. 8 and provide $14 billion in emergency spending for recent hurricanes, wildfires and other natural disasters.

The bill was approved 237-187 on Wednesday, mostly along party lines, but appears dead on arrival in the Republican-controlled Senate. The White House says President Donald Trump will veto the bill, calling it unacceptable without a broader agreement to address what Trump calls a crisis at the US-Mexico border.

READ | President Trump urged to reopen government; federal employees work without pay

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.

The White House said President Donald Trump has 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.

READ | Donald Trump urges Democrats to visit White House for talks to end 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.

Federal employees received pay stubs with nothing but zeros on them last week. Some posted photos of their empty earnings statements on social media as a rallying cry to end the shutdown.

The shutdown has resulted from a dispute over border wall funding. Democrats remain opposed to Trump's demand for $5.7 billion. They say they'll discuss border security once the government reopens.



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