Biden signs spending bill to avert government shutdown

Former Vice President Joe Biden on Wednesday signed a funding bill that averts a government shutdown at the stroke of midnight.

In a televised signing ceremony, Biden called the budget “an important compromise that says we can go forward.”

The spending bill, which passed the House Wednesday night, has yet to be signed by President Donald Trump.

Democrats made a point of urging the president to sign the bill so it does not include disaster relief funds for areas ravaged by hurricanes, wildfires and other natural disasters.

Trump wanted to include the funds in a portion of the spending bill that would fund the Department of Homeland Security. Democrats have pushed back on the move to include disaster funds in a budget package that is set to fund the government, fearing it would separate the disaster funding from other spending and potentially impede future funding efforts.

Trump said after last week’s partial government shutdown that he would be open to the idea of a long-term spending deal to avert another shutdown — should Democrats also agree to allow him to build a wall along the US-Mexico border.

The White House, however, has backed away from that stance in recent days, making it appear that for now, the Democrats’ opposition to funding a border wall is the sticking point in the negotiations.

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