Congress readies 3-week funding punt to avert shutdown

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An exterior view of the U.S. Capitol building. | Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images

Congressional leaders released a short-term spending patch Monday afternoon, buying three more weeks to lock in an expansive government funding deal.

The House and Senate are expected to pass the stopgap bill before federal cash runs dry at midnight on Feb. 18, kicking the next shutdown deadline to March 11. The measure is the third patch Congress has taken up since the fiscal year kicked off in October — a tide-me-over approach that has kept federal spending from lapsing as leaders have struggled to lock in a bipartisan compromise that overhauls spending totals set at the end of Donald Trump’s presidency.

House lawmakers plan to begin an 18-day break in floor action this week, so the lower chamber is expected to pass the temporary patch, known as a continuing resolution, well before funding expires in 11 days.

While the eight-page bill would mostly keep funding static through mid-March, it includes a few “anomalies” or spending exceptions.

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