Congress sent a stopgap bill to President Joe Biden Saturday to keep the federal government operating in a midnight-hour deal. Significantly, the package does not include Democrats’ demand for further billions to Ukraine.
The agreement averting the federal shutdown came hours before the midnight deadline. It lasts for 45 days and funds Washington at current 2023 levels through Nov. 17.
The bill included $16 billion for domestic natural disaster aid but glaringly lacked the tens of billions earmarked for Kyiv.
The Biden White House released a statement blasting the opposition party for the stalemate. It referenced a budget agreement between Democrats and Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) reached months ago.
The statement read, “For weeks, extreme House Republicans tried to walk away from that deal by demanding drastic cuts that would have been devastating for millions of Americans. They failed.”
The deal reached on Saturday afternoon in the House passed with a 335-91 vote. Later in the night the Senate concurred by an 88-9 tally.
BREAKING: US Government shut down has been averted
In a 335-91 vote, House passes 45-day stopgap resolution which excludes further funding for Ukraine and border security pic.twitter.com/hyOT3ogLvR
— The Post Millennial (@TPostMillennial) September 30, 2023
That vote came with three hours to spare.
If the Senate had not passed the continuing resolution, nonessential government programs would have paused at midnight. It would also have resulted in thousands of federal workers being furloughed.
The White House also chastised the GOP for failing to cough up additional billions for the Ukraine war. The statement asserted that U.S. taxpayers cannot interrupt their support for Kyiv “under any circumstances.”
The U.S. already sent an estimated $75 billion to Ukraine for its war with Russia. Without the steadfast actions of conservative House Republicans, tens of billions more would already be on the way to Eastern Europe.
The embattled McCarthy pledged on Saturday that the House would take steps to keep the federal government operating. “We will put a clean funding stopgap on the floor to keep government open for 45 days for the House and Senate to get their work done.”
Just a few hours before midnight, his words rang true.
McCarthy told reporters that the 45 additional days will enable Congress to get further work accomplished.
Far from a ringing endorsement of bipartisanship, a distasteful missive came after the vote from Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY). “We funded the government and avoided all of the extreme, nasty, harmful cuts MAGA Republicans wanted.”
Schumer added that the GOP “won nothing.” To most observers, keeping tens of billions of taxpayer dollars from flowing overseas would hardly be “nothing.”