Biden Signs Stopgap Funding Bill, Buying Time for Long-Term Spending Agreement
By April Fowell
Ahead of a Friday night deadline, President Biden has signed the bipartisan short-term funding package, which will keep the government running and functioning until early 2024.
While attending the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation conference in San Francisco, the president signed the measure and had meetings with the leaders of China, Japan, and other Asian nations. He was hosting a dinner for APEC members at the Legion of Honor Museum when he signed the law.
The law was transported to California for the president's signing, according to a U.S. official.
The law, referred to as a continuing resolution, funds the Departments of Veterans Affairs, Energy, Housing and Urban Development, and Transportation until January 19, while money for other federal agencies is maintained through February 2.
House Republicans Navigate Short-Term Budget Measures Amidst Internal Divisions
Earlier this week, the House Republicans were unable to come to an internal consensus on longer-term, individual appropriations measures, so they enacted the short-term remedy in the House and Senate.
Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado, the lone Democrat to vote against the bill, helped it pass the Senate 87-11 votes. The law was supported by more Democrats than Republicans when it passed the House 336 to 95.
The House approved a stopgap bill that was favored by Rep. Matt Gaetz and other conservative Republicans after they ousted previous House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. However, the right wing of House Speaker Mike Johnson is not posing the same open threats.
The approach frees up Congress's holiday schedule-the body frequently clashes over government spending in the weeks preceding Christmas and Hanukkah. However, should Congress fail to reach a consensus on long-term funding in December, it may set the stage for a budget dispute during the next election year.
New York Republicans Challenge Budget Plan Citing Law Enforcement Cuts
Voting against the procedural step, a group of politically vulnerable New York Republicans said that the underlying plan contained cuts to law enforcement budget that they could not accept.
The White House said that the $400 million reduction to the FBI would result in the loss of 1,850 posts necessary to combat gun violence and other crimes. The law also included a $1.2 billion decrease to the Justice Department.
New York Republican Representative Nick LaLota characterized the action as a component of a movement by more centrist Republicans to oppose demands from the far right.
The House mutiny highlighted how unlikely it is that Congress will reach a consensus on spending before the beginning of February. Should Mr. Johnson agree to the drastic budget cutbacks and policy adjustments that extreme right-wing Republicans are requesting, he would lose the backing of more centrist members of his conference and be unable to get them passed. Furthermore, even if he were successful in getting such legislation approved by the House, the Democratic-led Senate would almost certainly kill it.
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