November 28, 2023

Biden signs stopgap funding bill to avert government shutdown

President Joe Biden has now signed the stopgap funding bill, averting a government shutdown and pushing the

In an announcement, the White House confirmed that the president signed the bill on Thursday, throughout this week’s go to to San Francisco to host the Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit and for a high-stakes assembly with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

HR 6363, or the “Further Continuing Appropriations and Other Extensions Act, 2024” – pushed by newly-elected House Speaker Mike Johnson – will now keep the government and federal agencies open via to 19 January 2024 for persevering with initiatives and actions funded in 4 appropriations payments.

Other government entities can be funded up to 2 February.

A US official flew the bill from Washington DC for Mr Biden to signal whereas internet hosting an APEC Summit dinner on the Legion of Honor Museum on Thursday evening, The Associated Press reported.

His signature got here simply hours earlier than the US government was set to run out of funds on Friday evening.

It got here after the House and the Senate each handed the stopgap bill this week, bringing some semblance of calm to a chaotic interval in Congress – whereas additionally teeing up major fights about spending bills in the coming year.

On Wednesday, the US Senate overwhelmingly handed the stopgap spending bill, with all however one Democrat supporting the bill whereas 10 Republicans opposed it. The House of Representatives handed the bill on Tuesday night.

“Hopefully it’s a good sign, but keep in mind, we’ve got two deadlines now that we have to deal with,” Sen Thom Tillis (R-NC) informed The Independent after the Senate vote.

Sen Jon Tester (D-MT), the chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee who’s operating for re-election subsequent 12 months, mentioned he was completely happy Congress prevented a government shutdown.

“That’s a good news,” he informed The Independent. “Bad news is we should have got this work done the end of September.”

House Republicans hope to use that strategy to avert passing an “omnibus” spending bill whereby all 12 main spending payments are mixed into one, which they imagine prevents spending cuts.

But senators on each side of the aisle expressed scepticism that spending payments may really move and the upcoming the spending fights.

President Joe Biden talking on the APEC Summit occasion


“I’m disappointed that after we’d pass the first three-bill package, we didn’t immediately go into the next package,” Sen Susan Collins (R-ME), the highest Republican on the Senate Approriations Committee, informed The Independent. “I think had what you believe would have finished that package at the end of last week and been on the next package.”

Sen Joe Manchin (D-WV), who final week introduced his retirement from the Senate, informed The Independent that he was frightened concerning the incapacity to move future spending payments.

“I sure hope so, but it doesn’t look good,” he mentioned.

Sen Raphael Warnock (D-GA) additionally informed The Independent that he didn’t like the method.

“I wish we weren’t here,” he mentioned. “I wish that Congress could find a way to do his job. I think this politics of chaos and brinksmanship is bad for the American economy overall.”

Mr Warnock pointed to the truth that Fitch downgraded the nation’s credit standing.

“But here we are,” he mentioned. “We’re gonna be the adults in the room keep the government open while we negotiate something.”

Multiple points stay unresolved although. The persevering with decision comprises no support for Ukraine or Israel, which had been high priorities for Democrats.

“We need supplemental funding that covers Israel, Ukraine, humanitarian relief, security at home for mosques, and synagogues,” Sen Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). “And we need money for childcare. We’ve got a complete collapse in the system. So there’s work to be done.”

An indication of how urgent support is was the truth that members of the family of Israeli hostages held by Hamas had been on the Senate forward of the ultimate vote Wednesday night.

“I’m very hopeful because there’s clearly an overwhelming bipartisan majority in favour of aid, Ukraine, aid to Israel, aid to Taiwan,” Sen Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) informed The Independent. “If it’s given a vote, it will pass.”

It is unclear whether or not even beneath the 2 new deadlines, Congress can move laws to preserve the government open.

“I have no idea,” Sen Mitt Romney (R-UT) informed The Independent. “It’s a good development on the part of the House and Senate got the job done as well. So very positive.”

The passage of the bill caps off a marathon 10 weeks of Congress that included the passage of a unbroken decision, the ouster of former speaker Kevin McCarthy, 22 days whereby Republicans couldn’t nominate a speaker, the next ascent of Mr Johnson and the passage of the persevering with decision.

Toward the tip of the week, tensions rode excessive, with Sen Markwayne Mullin almost coming to fisticuffs throughout one listening to. Though some levity got here on Wednesday as actor and former WWE wrestler Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson appeared on Capitol Hill to focus on army recruitment.

But on Wednesday night, senators appeared keen to depart the Hill for the Thanksgiving Holiday. Sen Chuck Grassley, whom at 90 is the oldest and longest serving Senator, mirrored the exhaustion.

“It’s 11 O’clock, I’m going to bed,” he mentioned.