Washington — House lawmakers on Thursday brokered a deal on a stopgap measure that will fund federal agencies into mid-February, the top House Democratic appropriator announced, bringing Congress closer to staving off a partial government shutdown. Under the agreement announced by House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Rosa DeLauro, a Democrat from Connecticut, the bill, known as a short-term continuing resolution, extends federal funding at current levels through February 18, but provides an additional $7 billion across four agencies to assist with relocation efforts of Afghan refugees. The House is expected to consider the bill later Thursday. An earlier short-term continuing resolution approved by Congress in late September extends federal funding through Friday. DeLauro said in a statement the new stopgap measure includes "virtually no changes to existing funding or policy" and allows the appropriations process to move toward a final funding deal. Senator Richard Shelby of Alabama, the top Republican on the Senate Appropriations Committee, said he is "pleased" lawmakers came to a consensus on the short-term funding bill, but urged appropriators to "get serious" about finishing bills funding individual agencies. "I have said many times that work can only begin if we agree to start FY22 where we finished FY21," he said in a statement. "That means maintaining legacy riders, eliminating poison pills, and getting serious about the funding we are going to provide for our nation's defense. If that doesn't happen, we'll be having this same conversation in February." The White House is urging "swift passage" of the bill, it said in a statement, and praised the $7 billion for Afgh . . . read the full article here.