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News Wrap: Congress moves on bill to prevent shutdown

In our news wrap Thursday, the House passed a temporary spending bill that will keep the federal government running through Jan. 19, with the Senate expected to follow suit. Also, the United Nations General Assembly defied President Trump and rejected his policy shift on Jerusalem.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    Congress moved this evening to pass a temporary spending bill that will keep the federal government running through January 19.

    The House of Representatives passed a Republican measure, and the Senate moved to follow suit. It includes short-term health care funding for veterans and children from low-income families.

    But the two political parties still argued over the outcome.

  • REP. RODNEY FRELINGHUYSEN (R), New Jersey:

    Without action on this bill, existing government funding will expire tomorrow and the government will shut down. This legislation provides a simple, clean extension of current funding levels through January of 2018.

  • REP. BARBARA LEE (D), California:

    This reckless short-term resolution, it ignores our critical year-end priorities, like passing a bipartisan, long-term reauthorization of the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    The House also approved on a separate $81 billion disaster aid package.

    Republican leaders formally sent their tax overhaul to President Trump today for his signature. House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Finance Chair Orrin Hatch made it official at a Capitol ceremony. Dozens of their colleagues looked on. The White House said later there’s a very good chance that Mr. Trump will sign the bill tomorrow.

    The United Nations General Assembly defied President Trump today, and rejected his policy shift on Jerusalem.

    Hari Sreenivasan has our report from New York.

  • Man:

    I now give the floor to the distinguished representative of the United States.

  • Hari Sreenivasan:

    It was the United States vs. most of the world. The U.N. resolution declared President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital null and void, that despite Ambassador Nikki Haley’s warnings.

  • Nikki Haley:

    The United States will remember this day in which it was singled out for attack in the General Assembly for the very act of exercising our right as a sovereign nation. We will remember it when we are called upon to once again make the world’s largest contribution to the United Nations.

  • Hari Sreenivasan:

    Haley had earlier said Washington would take names of those who disavowed its decision. President Trump put it even more bluntly yesterday:

  • President Donald Trump:

    They take hundreds of millions of dollars and even billions of dollars and then they vote against us. Well, we’re watching those votes. Let them vote against us. We will save a lot. We don’t care.

  • Hari Sreenivasan:

    But the warnings sparked defiance by many. NATO ally Turkey co-sponsored the resolution.

  • Mevlut Cavusoglu:

    This is bullying, and this chamber will not bow to do that. It is unethical to think that the words and dignity of member states are for sale. Let me put it in this way: We will not be intimidated.

  • Hari Sreenivasan:

    In the end, 128 of the U.N.’s 193 members voted for the resolution. They included four of the top five recipients of U.S. foreign assistance, Iraq, Afghanistan, Egypt and Jordan; 35 countries abstained, including Canada and Mexico; 21 nations were absent. Only seven joined the U.S. and Israel in voting no.

    The Israeli ambassador dismissed the resolution.

  • Danny Danon:

    This vote is nothing more than a performance of delusion. The Palestinians know this resolution is a fraud. They know this resolution does absolutely nothing for the lives of the Palestinian people.

  • Hari Sreenivasan:

    But the Palestinian foreign minister insisted his people have an inalienable right to East Jerusalem as their future capital.

  • Riyad Al-Maliki:

    The American decision will not impact the status and position of the Holy City. Rather, it naturally affects the status of the United States as a mediator of peace.

  • Hari Sreenivasan:

    The resolution is nonbinding, and Ambassador Haley insisted it will have no effect on plans to move the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

    For the PBS NewsHour, I’m Hari Sreenivasan.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    As that U.N. vote was under way, Vice President Mike Pence was making a surprise visit to Afghanistan. He didn’t mention the Afghan government’s support for the resolution on Jerusalem. Instead, he spoke to U.S. troops at Bagram Air Base outside Kabul, and said he believes that victory is closer than ever before.

  • Vice President Mike Pence:

    Under President Donald Trump, the armed forces of the United States will remain engaged in Afghanistan until we eliminate the terrorist threat to our homeland, our people once and for all.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Also today, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis gave a pep talk to troops at the U.S. prison for terrorism suspects in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. He was the first defense chief to visit there since 2002.

    The U.S. imposed economic sanctions today on a top general in Myanmar over atrocities against Rohingya Muslims. Until last month, he was a military commander in a region where there’s evidence of mass killing and rapes. Some 650,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh.

    In Yemen, the International Red Cross reports that the number of suspected cholera cases has now topped one million. It blames the war between Shiite rebels backed by Iran, and a coalition of Sunni nations led by Saudi Arabia and supported by the United States. The Saudis said yesterday that they are easing their blockade of a key Yemeni port, in order to let in food and medicine.

    In Spain, the people of Catalonia went to the polls today, and parties that want to secede again won a majority. The previous Catalan regime had declared independence, only to be ousted by the central government in Madrid.

    Today, voters endured long lines to cast ballots, amid heavy turnout, and many voiced hope that something good will emerge from the turmoil.

  • Man (through interpreter):

    I think that life will give us what we deserve. It’s the same to me, independence or no to independence, as long as you live in a better country, more just, more social. I would be satisfied with this.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Several pro-independence Catalan leaders are now in jail or in exile.

    Back in this country, life expectancy is down for a second straight year, and opioids are getting the blame. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that, in 2016, more than 42,000 drug overdose deaths were opioid-related. That’s a 28 percent increase over 2015, and it accounts for two-thirds of all drug deaths. As a result, average life expectancy slipped about a month, to 78 years and seven months.

    It turns out that a surprising 8.8 million people signed up for health insurance under Obamacare on the federal exchange this fall. That’s 400,000 below last year’s total, but the Trump administration had cut the sign-up period in half this year and it had dialed back publicity about the effort.

    A jury here in Washington, D.C., has acquitted six people of all charges in violent protests during President Trump’s inauguration. They were the first to be tried out of more than 200 arrested. Prosecutors said they joined a group that left a trail of damage over 16 city blocks. The defense said that police never identified the actual culprits.

    Democratic Senator Al Franken of Minnesota painted a dire picture of national politics today in his farewell address to Congress. Franken will step down on January 2 after facing sexual misconduct allegations. Today, he urged voters to insist on truth.

  • Sen. Al Franken:

    I have to admit that it feels like we’re losing the war for truth, and maybe it’s already lost. It’s going to take ordinary Americans deciding to become more informed consumers of political news and opinion and deciding that they’re willing to be part of the argument themselves, instead of simply tuning out all of the noise.

  • Judy Woodruff:

     Franken is one of seven federal lawmakers who’ve decided to resign, or not run for reelection, after being accused of sexual misconduct.

    And on Wall Street today, the Dow Jones industrial average gained 55 points to close at 24,782. The Nasdaq rose four, and the S&P 500 added five.

     

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