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Thursday, April 18, 2024

Bill to Prevent Government Shutdown Gets Green Light from US Senate, Heads to Biden for Approval

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WASHINGTON — On Thursday, the U.S. Senate, which is currently under Democratic control, gave the green light to a temporary stopgap spending bill. This move was made to prevent a⁣ partial government shutdown, with the Republican-led House of Representatives also supporting ⁤the⁤ bill, just a little ​over a day before the funding was set to expire.

The bill, which received a bipartisan approval in the Senate with a 77-13 vote, is now headed to President Joe Biden’s⁣ office for his signature. The bill outlines deadlines ​for ​funding different sections of the government, with one part to be funded by March 8 and‌ the other by March 22.

President Biden, in‍ a statement, expressed his relief at the bill’s passage, stating⁢ that it would prevent a harmful ⁢shutdown. However, he also noted that this is merely a temporary solution and not a⁤ long-term fix.

Earlier⁢ in the day, ‌the House⁢ saw 207 Democrats and 113 Republicans come together​ in a 320-99 vote to pass the short-term stopgap measure. This move gives‌ Congress additional‌ time to⁤ agree on the funding for the full⁤ fiscal year, which started on‌ Oct.‍ 1.

It’s been about‍ two months since Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson and Democratic Majority Leader Chuck Schumer agreed on a $1.59‌ trillion discretionary spending level for the fiscal year.

Johnson, who has only been in⁣ the speaker’s position since late October,​ once again relied ⁤on a procedural move that required⁣ Democrats to provide most of the support to pass the ⁣stopgap spending bill. This strategy could potentially upset hard-line conservatives.

With 97 “no” votes from ⁢his 219-member Republican ‌conference, Johnson ‌could face challenges as he takes up six full-year appropriations bills next week and ⁤moves on to the complex issue of aid to Ukraine.

Three House ‍Republicans, including House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul, anticipate that Johnson will address​ aid to Ukraine, Israel, and U.S. allies in the Indo-Pacific after completing another six spending bills by‍ March 22. Earlier this month, the Senate passed ⁤the‍ $95 billion ​national security bill in a bipartisan ​vote.

McCaul, an eternal optimist, believes that they will get it done. He suggested ‌that the legislation could include a loan program instead of direct ‌assistance and provide the means to seize and⁢ liquidate Russian sovereign assets as an⁣ offset.

President Biden urged House Republicans to prioritize⁤ national security and expedite the bipartisan bill‌ to his desk.

Republican Representatives Brian Fitzpatrick and Don Bacon have also proposed aid legislation for U.S. allies that would ⁤reinstate⁤ the return-to-Mexico border policy and eliminate humanitarian assistance.

Despite the​ passage of Thursday’s temporary funding⁣ bill, Congress may still face ​potential conflicts in the coming weeks over funding levels for many programs that conservatives wish⁣ to reduce.

Hard-line Republicans have been pressuring⁢ Johnson to ⁣use a ⁤shutdown as‍ a bargaining chip to compel Democrats ⁢to accept conservative policy measures, including partisan ⁢provisions to limit the influx of migrants across the U.S.-Mexico border.

Rep. Chip ⁢Roy expressed that this ‌group of⁢ Republicans now ‌hopes to ⁣persuade Johnson to‌ introduce a‌ new spending bill that would ‌fund the government through Sept. 30, but reduce nondefense spending while maintaining levels for defense and veterans benefits.

“We believe ⁢that we could ​do that. We believe that actually presents a good alternative,” Roy told reporters.

Republican Rep. Patrick McHenry predicted that Johnson ‍would face no threat as ⁣a result of votes on spending legislation, unlike his predecessor Kevin McCarthy, who a small ​group of hard-liners voted out of leadership for passing a bipartisan bill to avert a ‌shutdown in ‍September.

“This is the House Republicans coming to ⁣terms with reality,” said McHenry. ⁣”It’s been clear for months that this is the outcome. To get on with it is the best​ thing.”

Major ratings agencies have warned that the repeated brinkmanship is negatively affecting the creditworthiness of a nation whose debt has now exceeded $34 trillion.

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Truth Media Network
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2 COMMENTS

  1. Bad punctuation and grammar, disagree. It’s about time they got their act together and prevented another shutdown.

  2. Bad punctuation and grammar, disagree. They need to focus on resolving issues, not just kicking the can down the road.

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