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Government shutdown avoided: Lawmakers pass temporary spending measure

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  • Staff Report 

The looming peril of a U.S. government shutdown was averted at 9 p.m. Saturday as the Senate approved and forwarded a temporary funding bill to President Joe Biden three hours prior to the expiration deadline.

This interim provision is slated to maintain government operations for 45 days, ensuring that all federal agencies continue to function at least until Nov. 17.

While the urgent legislative package did augment federal disaster assistance by $16 billion, meeting President Biden’s entire request, it notably omitted aid to Ukraine, a significant and contentious component initially prioritized by the White House.

The passage of the bill marked the culmination of frenetic and tumultuous negotiations within the House, characterized by abrupt strategic shifts and escalating tensions.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy withdrew demands for substantial expenditure reductions, leaning on Democratic support to secure the bill’s passage and potentially jeopardizing his position in doing so.

The finalized package sustains government funding at the current 2023 levels until mid-November, but the absence of support for Ukraine has sparked intense bipartisan dismay, prompting lawmakers to reevaluate strategic alternatives. Meanwhile, tensions within the Republican ranks persist, with indications of mounting opposition against McCarthy and potential repercussions for his leadership role. The unfolding legislative drama underscores the prevailing volatile political dynamics and sets the stage for further confrontations and deliberations on the nation’s financial and foreign aid priorities.