In order to prevent a government shutdown, President Biden has officially signed a bipartisan short-term funding bill. The bill will ensure that the government remains open and operational until early 2024, well before the Friday night deadline.
President Biden signed the bill during his visit to San Francisco for the Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, where he engaged in meetings with Chinese President Xi Jinping and other prominent leaders from Asian countries. The signing took place at the Legion of Honor Museum, where the president was hosting a dinner for APEC members.
The bill, known as a continuing resolution, extends funding for various departments including Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, Energy, and Veterans Affairs until January 19. Other government entities are funded through February 2. Earlier this week, the House and Senate both passed this short-term resolution. However, House Republicans were unable to reach internal consensus on longer-term appropriations bills.
The Senate approved the bill with an overwhelming 87-11 vote, with Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado being the sole Democratic senator voting against it. On the other hand, the bill passed the House with a 336-95 vote, with more support from Democrats than Republicans.
It is noteworthy that the House’s stop-gap measure resembles the one that led to the removal of former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy by hardline Republicans, but Speaker Mike Johnson is not facing similar threats from the right flank of his party.
The passing of this bill allows Congress to clear its holiday calendar, as disputes over government funding close to Christmas and Hanukkah have become a recurring issue. However, it also sets the stage for a potential funding battle in the upcoming election year if Congress fails to reach an agreement on long-term funding in December.