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Dec. 21, 2017, 7:28 p.m. EST

Congress passes bill to fund government through Jan. 19

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By Robert Schroeder

The Senate passed a bill Thursday to fund the federal government through Jan. 19, hours after its approval by the House. The bill heads off a partial government shutdown this weekend, and is expected to be signed by President Donald Trump on Friday. In addition to extending agency funding at current levels, it would fund the Children's Health Insurance Program, or CHIP, through the end of March, and also extends the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. The bill also contains language preventing automatic spending cuts to programs including Medicare. Approval of that language would allow Trump to sign the Republican tax bill Friday as well. Legal protection for "dreamers," the children of undocumented immigrants, was not included, and is likely to be a contentious topic when spending talks are revisited next month. Separately, the Senate did not vote on an $81-billion disaster-relief bill for areas struck by hurricanes and wildfires, which the House passed earlier in the day.

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