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US President Donald Trump signs two-week spending bill to avert government shutdown

The legislation, which would keep the Homeland Security Department and several other government agencies open through December 21, came on Friday, reports Xinhua news agency.

Reported by: IANS, Washington [ Updated: December 08, 2018 12:39 IST ]
US President Donald Trump.

US President Donald Trump.

US President Donald Trump has signed a two-week spending bill to extend federal government funding, averting a partial shutdown and delaying an expected partisan fight over the proposed border wall.

The legislation, which would keep the Homeland Security Department and several other government agencies open through December 21, came on Friday, reports Xinhua news agency.

The prospect of a partial government shutdown was raised by disagreements among lawmakers over Trump's proposed US-Mexico border wall, for which he has demanded $5 billion.

Senate Democrat leader Chuck Schumer has said that his party members were only willing to agree to a $1.6 billion budget to bolster border security instead of building a physical wall.

Republicans currently hold 51 seats in the Senate and need nine Democratic votes to pass a spending bill.

Trump had threatened to force a partial government shutdown if the Congress did not give him enough funding for the wall.

The White House and congressional leaders agreed to the two-week funding extension in light of the death of former President George H.W. Bush last week.

On Thursday, both the House of Representatives and the Senate passed the continuing resolution to extend the federal government funding.

The US Congress had already passed spending bills for five government agencies for the fiscal year 2019, which began on October 1, and it still needs to decide on the funding for seven more agencies, including the Homeland Security Department, Justice Department and Agriculture Department.

The federal government was briefly shut down twice this year due to lawmakers' discrepancy on immigration issues. 

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