Solution to government shutdown passes Senate as Houston’s NASA employees await official reopening AP Photo/Steve Helber
FEMA Disaster Recovery signs direct residents to help at City Hall in Rainelle, W. Va., Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2016. The town is rebuilding after floods killed five people in late June. So far, almost 8,800 people statewide have applied for FEMA individual aid, and $39.2 million has been awarded. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

News of the hope reaches Houstonians employed by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration as the U.S. Senate advances a short-term bill Monday afternoon as a compromise to end the government shutdown and keep it open through Feb. 8.

If the bill passes the House, it will go to President Donald Trump’s desk for approval, which would officially reopen the government.

According toe CNBC, after meetings with their Republican colleagues, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-NY, said Democrats “received assurances” the Senate will take on their priority immigration issues, such as the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, known as DACA. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., reportedly said earlier Monday he intends to allow discussion on immigration before Feb. 8.

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According to a KHOU report, NASA employs about 3,000 people at the Johnson Space Center, but only about 200 to 300 of those employees are considered “essential.” Those who are nonessential were placed on furlough Friday when the government shut down.

Military checks were also threatened, though personnel would have received retroactive backpay when the government resumed operation.

According to CBS News, in addition to passport delays, government websites and national parks were shut down Friday. Institutions like museums receiving part of their funding from the government could face closure if the bill fails in the House.

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If the bill fails in the House, the amount of NASA employees forgoing a paycheck could have impacts on the city’s economy. However, KHOU reports Houstonians rebuilding their lives from Hurricane Harvey through aid from the Federal Emergency Management Agency will be protected.


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