Biden signs last-minute interim financing bill, avoiding government shutdown
WASHINGTON: US President Joe Biden on Thursday signed a short-term funding bill after Congress passed the measure, avoiding a partial government shutdown that was scheduled to begin at midnight.
Earlier today, the Senate and House of Representatives quickly approved the bill, which will keep government funded until December 3.
The Senate voted 65-35 to pass the bill, and the House vote was 254-175, with a few Republicans voting with Democrats.
The last-minute interim bill would extend funding at current levels for most federal agencies and programs. It would also provide emergency funding to help Americans still reeling from natural disasters, such as Hurricane Ida, and help resettle Afghan refugees.
The bill’s approval by Congress came after days of partisan struggles over a debt limit provision, with Democrats intending to incorporate a debt limit suspension into the bill. short-term government spending bill, a move Republicans oppose.
Republican lawmakers have argued that Democrats should resolve the debt ceiling crisis on their own, since they control both houses of Congress and the White House, while complaining of a lack of bipartisanship in shaping the president’s US $ 3.5 trillion spending plan, a social spending bill that forms the heart of Biden’s national agenda.
Senate Republicans have previously said they will support a “clean” interim financing bill to avoid a government shutdown, pressuring Democrats to remove the debt ceiling provision. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced Wednesday evening that an agreement had been reached.
With the interim finance bill approved and the shutdown temporarily avoided, Democrats will need to act quickly in the coming days on the debt limit, as Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen recently warned lawmakers have until Oct. 18 to increase or suspend the debt limit before the United States. States are expected to default on the national debt.
Yellen noted that Congress should not wait until the last minute to raise the debt ceiling, as estimates regarding the duration of extraordinary measures and remaining liquidity can “advance unpredictably.”
Meanwhile, Democrats face roadblocks from Republicans as well as members of their own party as they attempt to push through the $ 3.5 trillion spending package. Final element