Senate Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer of N.Y., center, walks to a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2019, on the impacts of funding of the border wall.

Senate Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer of N.Y., center, walks to a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2019, on the impacts of funding of the border wall. Susan Walsh/AP

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President Trump Signs Stopgap Spending Measure, Keeping Agencies Open for 7 Weeks

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said that passing the continuing resolution was the easy part; setting line by line funding will be far more difficult.

President Trump late Friday signed a stopgap spending measure that will keep government agencies open through Nov. 21. The measure will give lawmakers seven additional weeks to sort out full-year appropriations bills that set line-by-line spending levels at agencies across government. 

The seven-week stopgap bill will largely keep agencies funded at their current levels, but it provides for some specific changes. The Office of Personnel Management, for example, would receive a slight funding boost to offset fees it surrendered when it transferred background investigation functions to the Defense Department. OPM had threatened to furlough employees due to the funding shortfall. The stopgap measure also would give a spending increase to the Census Bureau to enable it to proceed with preparations for its decennial count. 

While Capitol Hill has been largely consumed this week by a whistleblower complaint alleging wrongdoing by the president and the subsequent announcement by House Democrats of an impeachment inquiry, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said the everyday work of Congress must continue. 

“The business of the American people and the responsibilities of Congress do not pause while the House prepares to formally begin an impeachment inquiry,” Schumer said. Schumer cautioned, however, that the CR was “the easy part.” Passing actual appropriations, he said, would prove more difficult if Republicans insist on including funding for a border wall.