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US House to vote Friday to reopen EPA, Interior, but stalemate persists

Washington — The US House of Representatives will vote Friday on a spending bill to reopen the Department of the Interior and Environmental Protection Agency, but the effort will be symbolic as a stalemate persists over President Donald Trump's demand for a border wall.

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The 20-day shutdown has so far had limited direct impacts on energy and metals, but it could cause the agencies to miss deadlines for several key policies under development. That includes Interior's five-year offshore leasing plan and EPA's year-round expansion of E15, or gasoline blended with 15% ethanol.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters Thursday that Democrats would vote on the same appropriations language approved in December by the Republican-led Senate. The House is also set to vote Thursday on funding the Department of Agriculture.

"This is what you have proposed," Pelosi said of Senate Republicans. "Why are you rejecting it at the expense of the health, safety and well-being of the American people?"

Representative Kevin Brady, the top Republican on the House Ways and Means Committee, said the Democrats' efforts were merely "show votes" and would not end the shutdown.

"Let's get serious about border security and reopen this government," Brady said on Twitter. "Workers need paychecks."

-- Meghan Gordon, meghan.gordon@spglobal.com

-- Edited by Keiron Greenhalgh, newsdesk@spglobal.com

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