By Ovunc Kutlu
ANKARA (AA) – The US President Donald Trump signed early Thursday a stopgap spending bill to avoid a government shutdown and keep it running into December.
The bill, which passed the US Senate earlier with 84-10 vote, will keep the government agencies funded at the 2020 fiscal year levels through Dec. 11. The House of Representatives approved the bill last week.
Trump technically missed the midnight deadline to sign the bill, however the Office of Management and Budget never ordered agencies to stop their operations, although funding to agencies temporarily lapsed.
The legislation will ensure the US government will not go through a shutdown during the COVID-19 pandemic, and will go through the 2020 presidential election on Nov. 3 as planned.
However, lawmakers should agree on a legislation about the government expenditure before Dec. 11 to keep agencies running through September 2021.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi later said the bill includes $8 billion nutrition assistance for children and families, and refreshes the pandemic food aid program for a full year.
The 2021 federal fiscal year for the US government budget is between Oct. 1, 2020 and Sept. 30, 2021.
Some of the recent government shutdowns in the US history are 21 days during the Bill Clinton administration in 1995-1996 for opposition to spending cuts and the 16 days during the Barack Obama administration in 2013 caused by a dispute over Affordable Care Act.
The longest shutdown in the US history occurred during the Donald Trump administration in 2018-2019 for 35 days, caused by a dispute over funding the US-Mexico border wall.