A federal government shutdown that was looming large has been averted at least for now, as the House passed late Thursday a continuing resolution, which is a temporary spending bill that allows federal government operations to continue when final appropriations have not been approved by Congress and the President.
What Happened: The House passed the stopgap bill that facilitates federal government funding through early March, and the CR was adopted by a margin of 314-109, with 106 Republicans and two Democrats opposing the bill,
The federal government was staring at the prospect of shutdown as early as Friday if the bill had not cleared the Congress. The CR extends the Jan. 19 and Feb. 2 funding deadlines to March 1 and March 8, 2024.
Earlier in the day, the Senate passed the bill by a 77-18-vote margin.
Following Senate’s clearance Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said on X, “It’s good news for every American, especially our veterans, parents and children, farmers and small businesses, all of whom would have felt the sting of a shutdown.”
Both chambers go on a recess until Monday due to a snowstorm prediction that would have impeded the travel plans of lawmakers.
Conservatives Oppose: The hardliners in the Republican camp, especially those belonging to the House Freedom Caucus, did not back the bill. In a statement denouncing the bill, Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.) said the CR includes spending levels well above even those under a Democrat majority and does nothing to stop – or even address – the Biden administration’s failed border policies.
”In January, House Speaker Mike Johnson and Senate Majority Leader Schumer reached a topline agreement of $1.59 trillion in spending, with an additional $69 billion in undisclosed “side deals” before any emergency spending – bringing FY 2024 federal spending to at least $1.68 trillion,” he said.
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What Next: The bill now goes to President Joe Biden for him to sign it into law.
After the temporary reprieve until early March, the focus now shifts to the 12 bills that need to pass for the full-year budget, Reuters said.
The conservative Republicans could be now baying for the blood of House Speaker Jim Johnson. It was a similar situation that toppled his predecessor Kevin McCarthy, who was forced to resign from the post.
Steve Bannon, an ally of Donald Trump and media personality, reportedly said in his ‘War Room” podcast called out the end of the road for the speaker. “I mean, it’s disgusting…Johnson … suspended, you know, the two-thirds, he had to suspend the rules. He’s done everything [former Speaker Kevin] McCarthy’s done,” Bannon said, according to Raw Story.
“To me, he’s got to go, he’s finished. He’s proven his weakness. Not one iota of change on the southern border. You fund it. You agreed to fund the play,” he added.
Donald Trump’s niece Mary Trump said in a post said a ‘simple majority vote would send Johnson packing.’
”Currently, taking into account two vacant seats, Republicans only have a seven-vote majority. For comparison, there are over 40 members of the House Freedom Caucus,” she said.
The temporary calm comes even as the U.S. is facing a debt pile due to its extravagance for its spending. The country is sitting on a debt pile of over $34 trillion and if left unattended, it could weigh down on the economy.
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