Senate overwhelmingly agrees to short-term spending bill, ends government shutdown


The Senate agreed to a short-term spending bill Monday that effectively ended the government shutdown.

The 81-18 vote to approve the spending bill came after Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., promised Sunday to take up debate on immigration issues if the Senate hadn’t reached agreement on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which provides protections for young immigrants brought to the country by their parents without proper documentation.

The vote puts an end to the government shutdown, three days after it began at midnight Saturday when the Senate fell 10 votes short the 60 votes needed to approve a House-passed spending bill. However, the spending bill passed by the Senate is for three weeks, not the four that the House approved.

The failure to reach an earlier agreement on a spending bill that eventually led to the shutdown set a precedent as the Republican party controls the House, Senate and presidency. The White House said Saturday it would refuse to negotiate on immigration until funding was restored.

The shutdown temporarily put more than 40,000 employees who work for the Department of Health and Human Services and its related agencies and offices on furlough Monday morning. Under the HHS contingency plan the furloughs would:

  • limit disease surveillance by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,
  • stop work by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology on standards coordination, and
  • halt implementation and testing required under the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health and 21st Century Cures (Cures) acts by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology.


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