In an effort to prevent a government shutdown, the Senate voted in favor of an interim funding bill. This bill, which had already been approved by the House, will now be sent to President Joe Biden for his signature. The current government funding is set to expire on Friday, November 17.
The Senate passed the bill with a vote of 87 to 11. However, this stopgap measure is only a temporary solution, as lawmakers still need to negotiate and pass full-year spending bills in the coming months. This process will be complicated by partisan divisions, as House conservatives demand deep spending cuts that Democrats refuse to consider.
The bill extends funding until January 19 for key areas such as military construction, veterans’ affairs, transportation, housing, and the Energy Department. For the rest of the government, funding will be extended until February 2. Notably, this proposal does not include additional aid for Israel or Ukraine.
House Speaker Mike Johnson, who recently assumed his position, will face a significant leadership test as he guides lawmakers through this challenge. Johnson argues that his plan would prevent a rushed, massive spending bill from being passed in December, as has often been the case in the past.
However, the short-term funding plan has faced criticism from House conservatives who believe it does not go far enough in terms of spending cuts. As a result, Democratic support was necessary for the bill to pass the House.
This raised concerns for Speaker Johnson, as more House Democrats supported the measure than Republicans.
Johnson’s predecessor, Kevin McCarthy, faced a similar situation in September when he proposed a stopgap bill. Although it prevented a shutdown, conservative backlash led to McCarthy’s removal as speaker.
While some House Republicans believe Johnson will fare better due to his short tenure and inherited problems, the honeymoon period may be short-lived as conservative hardliners continue to push for their demands leading up to the larger funding battle.