Mon, 11 Dec 2023

Washington DC [US], October 1 (ANI): The United States Senate passed a stopgap funding measure on Saturday evening within its deadline to prevent a federal government shutdown, reported CNN.

With 88 to 9 votes, the Senate passed the measure after the US House abruptly reversed course and passed a bipartisan bill to extend government funding hours before the deadline.

The stopgap bill was cleared by the chamber in an overwhelmingly bipartisan 335-91 vote hours after Speaker Kevin McCarthy rolled out the proposal, reported CNN.

However, one Democrat and 90 Republicans voted against the measure.

The House vote finally came after days of uncertainty over averting a government shutdown.

Following this, the bill now goes to President Joe Biden's desk for further approval, according to CNN.

Moreover, the bill would keep the government open through November 17, and further includes natural disaster aid but not additional funding for Ukraine or border security.

It also includes a measure to keep the Federal Aviation Administration operational.

A government shutdown happens when Congress does not approve discretionary spending for the upcoming fiscal year, which begins on October 1.

A shutdown affects nearly every corner of the US government, from the delivery of welfare cheques and publishing of national economic data to the operation of federal courts, museums and national parks.

Hundreds of thousands of federal workers likely would be furloughed- temporarily forced to leave work without pay - while workers deemed essential would remain on the job but continue without a paycheque.

Reacting to the Senate passing the stopgap funding bill, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer praised his colleagues for passing the bill to fund the government, eventually averting a government shutdown until mid-November, CNN reported.

"It has been a day full of twists and turns, but the American people can breathe a sigh of relief: there will be no government shutdown tonight," he said.

"I want to thank my colleagues here in the Senate, especially our appropriators," Schumer added.

Lauding the bipartisanship, he further said, "Our bipartisanship made this bill possible. We will keep the government open for 45 days with a clean (continuing resolution), at current funding levels."Notably, the decision is poised to prevent the government from falling off the shutdown cliff, which many lawmakers thought was inevitable after weeks of disagreements within the House GOP conference and between both chambers.

The measure would keep the government funded at current spending levels through November 17. It includes USD 16 billion in disaster relief- matching the figure the White House included in a supplemental request. However, it does not include Ukraine aid or border policy changes, The Hill reported.

However earlier, Rep Lauren Boebert criticized the passage of the short-term stopgap bill, saying that Congress instead needs to pass the 12 annual appropriations bills.

"We should have forced the Senate to take up the four appropriations bills that the House has passed. That should have been our play...We should have forced them to come to the negotiating table, to come to conference, to hash out our differences," CNN quoted her as saying.

Mike Quigley of Illinois, was the lone Democrat who voted against the stopgap bill, stated that he did so to keep the government open, and railed against the decision to not include aid to Ukraine.

"Putin is celebrating," Quigley told CNN, saying the Reagan doctrine is "dead" in the GOP.

Notably, this is not the first-ever government shutdown in the US. According to the Bipartisan Policy Center, there have been as many as 14 government shutdowns in the US since 1980. The last shutdown took place in December 2018, when the government did not function for 35 days. (ANI)

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