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House will try to avert government shutdown with short-term spending bill

In an effort to avert another government shutdown when funding runs out at the end of September, the House will vote on a stopgap measure to fund the government soon after lawmakers return to Washington next week. 

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer wrote in a letter to the Democratic caucus that the vote will take place the week of September 16, the second week after the House returns from its month-long recess.

Congress passed a budget last month that set the spending ceilings for the upcoming fiscal year and suspended the debt ceiling until July 21, 2021 — beyond the 2020 elections — but it still has to act on the appropriation bills that fund government operations.

The House and the Senate are currently negotiating over the appropriations bills, and the short-term measure is meant to give lawmakers time to complete their work.

"While the House did its work and sent ten appropriations bills to the Senate, covering 96% of government funding, I am disappointed that the Senate failed to introduce a single appropriations bill for the first time in more than three decades," Hoyer wrote. "As we wait for them to complete their work so that we can begin conference negotiations, a continuing resolution will be necessary to prevent another government shutdown like the one we experienced earlier this year, which harmed thousands of American families."

The year began with a 35-day partial government shutdown that stretched from late December until the end of January, causing delays in pay for hundreds of thousands of federal workers.

Hoyer did not provide a potential end date for the short-term resolution in his letter to colleagues.

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