Bill provides just over two months of breathing room until the next deadline on January 19
The US Senate averted a looming partial government shutdown by passing a stopgap spending bill with an 87-11 vote, which now awaits President Joe Biden’s signature.
This move comes as a temporary solution, providing just over two months of breathing room until the next deadline on January 19. The measure drew bipartisan support, reflecting a rare consensus in modern US politics.
The bill, produced by Speaker Mike Johnson, maintains spending levels established in a May agreement with Biden and avoids contentious issues like abortion.
The avoidance of a government shutdown is significant, given the recent fiscal standoffs and near-miss scenarios that have brought Washington to the brink of defaulting on its substantial debt. The previous near-miss in October led to the ouster of Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.
While Democrats welcomed the cooperative approach, some hardline Republicans expressed discontent with the compromise. Despite the temporary resolution, they vowed to address federal spending concerns when funding expires again. Representative Chip Roy emphasised the expectation of a fight upon lawmakers’ return.
The legislation extends funding for various sectors, including military construction, veterans benefits, transportation, housing, urban development, agriculture, the Food and Drug Administration, and energy and water programs until January 19. Funding for other federal operations, including defence, would expire on February 2.
These recurring battles over funding and potential government shutdowns have hampered progress on other crucial proposals, such as President Biden’s $106 billion aid request for Israel, Ukraine, and US border security.
The constant fiscal uncertainties have hindered lawmakers from addressing key issues and obligations, showcasing the urgency for a more stable and comprehensive fiscal approach.