The monthlong spending bill would avert a Thanksgiving government shutdown but opens the door to a possible shutdown just before Christmas.

In this Tuesday, October 1, 2013, file photo, dark clouds pass over the Capitol in Washington.
In this Tuesday, October 1, 2013, file photo, dark clouds pass over the Capitol in Washington. (AP)

The US House of Representatives on Tuesday approved legislation to avert a widespread government shutdown later this week with a bill extending temporary federal funding through December 20.

The legislation passed the House by a vote of 231-192, with all but a dozen Republicans voting against the funding.

It now goes to the Senate, which will aim to approve it before midnight Thursday when existing funds expire. 

The short-term spending bill would keep federal agencies running for another month in hopes the additional time will help negotiators wrap up more than $1.4 trillion in unfinished appropriations bills.

The monthlong spending bill comes as negotiations on the full-year spending package have hit a rough patch.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Monday said the White House had indicated its support for the bill. 

This second stop-gap bill since September is needed because Congress has not completed a series of regular appropriations bills for the fiscal year that began on October 1.

That in part is because of disagreements between Republican President Donald Trump and Democrats, who control the House, over the billions of dollars he wants to build a US-Mexico border wall.

The same disagreements resulted in a record-long, 35-day partial government shutdown that began late last December and extended into early 2019.

The House is also expected to be in the midst of impeachment proceedings in December, adding another obstacle to negotiations.

Source: Reuters