15:59 GMT08 April 2020
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    With an 81-11 vote, the US Senate has passed its second spending bill, allowing the legislation to progress to the desk of US President Donald Trump.

    The bills passed by both the US House of Representatives and Senate authorize a total $1.4 trillion in federal funding, including the $1.4 billion for the Trump administration's border wall project along the US-Mexico boundary. 

    According to a Thursday report from CNBC, Trump's advisers have communicated that 45 will sign the document before Friday to avoid a government shutdown. 

    The bill awaiting Trump's signature also includes a recently-negotiated provision which would raise the legal smoking age within the country from 18 to 21. This new legislation would apply to the purchase of all cigarettes, cigars, e-cigs, vapes and additional tobacco products. 

    Though Trump's border wall funding caused House Democrats to hold up the passing of the spending bill last year, the package received the same level of funding for 2020. However, the White House Office of Management and Budget has contended that Trump's administration reserves the right to obtain border wall funding from other accounts. 

    The new spending bill also calls for a $428 billion tax cut to repeal three of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) taxes within the next 10 years. This comes after a federal appeals court in New Orleans, Louisiana, ruled the "individual mandate" within the ACA, which requires US citizens to purchase health insurance, was unconstitutional. 

    An additional $25 million was set aside within the spending bill for gun violence research on a federal level. 

    This follows the House's decision to impeach Trump. Despite impeachment, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has refused to comment on when she and fellow House Democrats will deliver relevant documents to the Republican-controlled Senate.  


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    Speaker Pelosi, Nancy Pelosi, Congress, impeachment, gun violence, ObamaCare, Affordable Care Act, US Affordable Care Act, ACA, border wall, spending bill, US Senate, Donald Trump, government shutdown
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