House approves government funding bill, throws issue to Senate

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Legislation to avoid a U.S. government shutdown at midnight on Friday advanced in Congress, as the House of Representatives on Thursday night approved an extension of federal funds through Feb. 16, although the bill faced uncertain prospects in the Senate.

On a mostly partisan vote of 230-197, the Republican-controlled House approved the stopgap funds, sending the bill to the Senate for consideration before the looming deadline and as President Donald Trump pushed hard for a measure he can sign.

But a mix of Democratic and Republican senators who oppose the House bill for varying reasons left the measure in a precarious spot.

16 PHOTOS
Inside meetings held to avert a government shutdown
See Gallery
Inside meetings held to avert a government shutdown

U.S. President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence meet with House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, U.S., December 7, 2017.

(REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)

U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) speaks to a reporter in a hallway December 21, 2017 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Congress is trying to pass a short term spending bill to fund the government through January 19 and avert a shutdown at midnight on Friday.

(Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) speaks about the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) at a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., December 21, 2017.

(REUTERS/Yuri Gripas)

U.S. Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK) listens during a meeting about a bill to avert government shutdown December 21, 2017 at the Capitol in Washington, DC. House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) spoke on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy.

(Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) arrives at a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., December 21, 2017.

(REUTERS/Yuri Gripas)

U.S. President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell look across toward Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi during a meeting with Congressional leaders in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, U.S., December 7, 2017.

(REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)

A pedestrian walks past the U.S. Capitol as congressional lawmakers work on a deal to fund the government and avert a shutdown by midnight Friday, on December 21, 2017 in Washington, DC.

(Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) listens to Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) speaking at a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., December 21, 2017.

(REUTERS/Yuri Gripas)

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), left, and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), arrive for a Republican conference meeting at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., December 20, 2017.

(REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein)

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan speaks at a news conference with House Republican leaders after a closed conference meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., December 5, 2017.

(REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein)

Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), House Majority Leader, arrives for a Republican conference meeting at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., December 20, 2017.

(REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein)

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 21: House Minority Leader, Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), and House Minority Whip, Steny Hoyer (D-MD) attend a House Rules Committee meeting as negotiations continue on funding the government to avert a shutdown at midnight on Friday night, at the U.S. Capitol on December 21, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Senator Ted Cruz, a Republican from Texas, speaks to members of the media near the Senate Chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018. Facing a tough vote count that's currently well short, several Senate Republicans said a stopgap bill to fund the government for just a few days is now under discussion. Photographer: Zach Gibson/ Bloomberg
U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) speaks to reporters as he arrives for the weekly Republican party caucus luncheon at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., January 17, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
U.S. Representative Mark Meadows (R-NC) (C) is trailed by reporters as he walks between meetings at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S. January 18, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) walks to the House chamber for continuing resolution vote on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., January 18, 2018. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

House passage came only after conservatives secured a promise from House Speaker Paul Ryan that he would soon advance some type of legislation to bolster U.S. military readiness, said Republican Representative Mark Meadows.

Besides a long fight over military versus non-military funding, Republicans and Democrats were battling over a measure to protect from deportation young immigrants known as "Dreamers" brought to the country illegally as children.

In September, Trump said he was ending former President Barack Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that has been shielding around 700,000 of the immigrants, who are mostly from Mexico and Central America.

As of late on Thursday, there was no visible sign that Republicans who control Congress would meet Democrats' demands for including a plan for the "Dreamers" in the temporary spending bill.

Early on Thursday, Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said the House bill to fund the government was “very likely to be unacceptable to the Senate."

With the fate of the spending bill uncertain, federal agencies were being instructed to prepare for partial government shutdowns throughout the country on Saturday.

(Reporting by Amanda Becker and Richard Cowan; Editing by Peter Cooney)

Read Full Story