Susan Collins

Congress averts shutdown while punting on immigration, health care debates

Congress averts shutdown while punting on immigration, health care debates

WASHINGTON — Congress narrowly avoided a government shutdown Thursday with a short-term spending bill that punted thorny debates over immigration and health care to next month.

Still basking in the victory of passing their sweeping tax overhaul — and eager not to distract from it by shuttering federal agencies — Republican leaders settled on a stripped-down spending bill that disappointed members of both parties but will keep the government running through Jan. 19.

While lawmakers dodged a shutdown that would have taken place Friday at midnight, the duct-tape approach to government funding underscored how difficult it will be for Congress to negotiate a longer-term bill in...

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