President Joe Biden signed a bill to extend government funding for 45 days, avoiding a federal shutdown just one hour before the deadline today, which would have meant entering the United States into the worst economic nightmare, as a federal shutdown would have meant a complete halt to all American government institutions.
President Biden praised Congress for agreeing to the bill with support from both parties in both houses, even when Republicans in the House of Representatives criticized them for not cooperating with Democrats until the very last minute, according to the American “Associated Press” agency.
Biden said in a statement, “Tonight, the majority of both parties in both the House and the Senate voted to keep the government open, preventing an unnecessary crisis that would have caused unnecessary pain to millions of hardworking Americans.”
He continued, “This is good news for the American people, but I want to be clear: we should not have been in this position in the first place.”
The American agency reported that the signing of the bill came hours after the Senate approved the proposal with bipartisan majority support of 88 votes to nine, easily surpassing the 60-vote threshold required to pass it, and opposed by nine members of the Senate, all of whom are Republicans.
Leader of the Democrats in the Senate, Chuck Schumer, said after the vote: “It has been a day filled with twists and turns, but the American people can breathe a sigh of relief – there will be no shutdown. Our bipartisan partnership made this possible and showed the House that they must act”.
Extra funding for Ukraine
Despite this neglect, Biden indicated that McCarthy would soon introduce supplementary appropriations legislation to provide additional financial assistance to America’s allies in Ukraine.
Biden said, “Under no circumstances can we allow American support for Ukraine to be cut off.” He added, “I fully expect that the Speaker of the House will maintain his commitment to the Ukrainian people and ensure the necessary support to help Ukraine at this critical moment”.
McCarthy presented the temporary bill under suspension of the rules, meaning it needed the support of two-thirds of House members to advance the proposal, and while Democrats in the House also criticized the bill’s lack of funding for Ukraine, they ultimately provided McCarthy with the necessary support to get the legislation across the finish line.
In his remarks after the vote, McCarthy expressed disappointment that a large portion of his conference opposed the bill, but he said, “It is abundantly clear that I have exhausted every avenue possible, and I have listened to everyone in the conference.”
He continued, “If you have members in your conference that won’t allow you to vote on appropriations bills, you don’t want a continuing resolution, and they will not vote for a temporary one, then the only option is to stop the work and not pay our troops: I don’t want to be part of that team.”
The American agency confirmed that before the House vote, the Senate planned to hold a vote on Saturday on a separate temporary spending bill, which would also keep the government open until November 17 and provide some funding for war efforts in Ukraine in addition to disaster relief, but the Senate instead redirected its efforts towards advancing McCarthy’s bill after the proposal passed in the House of Representatives, and while Democrats in the Senate expressed frustration over the lack of funding for Ukraine, McCarthy’s House bill represents their only option to prevent a shutdown.