US Government Shutdown: Senate Approves Temporary Funding

He US Senate approved this weekend a temporary spending bill to avoid a partial government shutdown of the United States and sent it to the House of Representatives, where it is on track to be approved later this Thursday.

The interim measure would fund some US agencies (who will run out of money after Friday) until March 1 and others until March 8.

The Senate voted 77-18 to approve the funding, and lawmakers were eager to leave Washington before a snowstorm was forecast for Friday.

The House is expected to do the same because the democrats are willing to provide the necessary votes to approve it despite the objections from some conservative Republicans.

Some hardline Republicans are angry that Leader Mike Johnson backtracked on a promise he made in November not to allow any more temporary funding extensions and opposed ultraconservatives who want to use the threat of a shutdown to force President Joe Biden to agree. changes in border policy.

Instead, Johnson withheld emergency war funds for Ukraine as leverage in border talks, leading to a stalemate on aid to Ukraine.

The president rejected an effort Thursday by hardline Republicans in the House Freedom Caucus to sabotage interim funding by adding conservative demands over changes in immigration policy which are anathema to many Democrats.

The short-term package is intended to give lawmakers time to complete negotiations on annual funding for the fiscal year that began Oct. 1.

But six weeks of funding until March 1 may not be enough time to resolve remaining differences. The House of Representatives is scheduled to recess for three of those weeks, raising prospects for another short-term spending bill.

“I think that’s where we’re headed unless something dramatic happens,” Dick Durbin of Illinois, the Senate’s No. 2 Democrat, said Thursday.

The leaders of both parties have agreed to a effective spending limit of $1.66 trillion for the yearbut still They are negotiating how to distribute the money between government departments and programs. They also have to resolve conservative demands to attach policies like immigration and abortion restrictions to bills and funding for lawmakers’ pet projects.

If the government is operating on interim funding on April 30, automatic spending cuts across the board would be triggered under the provisions of last June’s debt ceiling compromise. That threat could prompt lawmakers to finally resolve 2024 spending.