Biden Signs Short-term Bill To Avoid Government Shutdown

Joe Biden signed a short-term spending bill, averting a government shutdown. This delay extends the budget dispute with Republicans into the new year, while aid for Ukraine and Israel remains stalled.

This week, the House and Senate passed the measure with broad bipartisan support, securing the government’s operation until after the holiday season. The extension provides lawmakers additional time to reconcile significant disparities in government spending levels for the current budget year.

Biden signed the bill on Thursday, where he was hosting the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in San Francisco. The president signed the bill at the Legion of Honor Museum, where he hosted a dinner for APEC members.

The spending package maintains current government funding for approximately two additional months while negotiations for a long-term package take place.

The bill introduces two separate deadlines for passing full-year appropriations bills, January 19 for some federal agencies and February 2 for others. This creates two potential dates for a partial government shutdown.

New House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) championed the two-step approach, which lacked favor among many in the Senate. However, all but one Democrat and 10 Republicans supported it, as it guaranteed the prevention of a government shutdown, at least for the time being.

Johnson has pledged against endorsing additional temporary funding measures, commonly referred to as continuing resolutions. He characterized the short-term funding bill as laying the groundwork for a spending clash with the Senate in the coming year.

Excluded from the spending bill is the White House’s request for nearly $106 billion in wartime aid for Israel and Ukraine. It also lacks provisions for humanitarian funding for Palestinians and other supplementary requests, such as funds for border security.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) credited bipartisan cooperation for averting a government shutdown.

Schumer said, “Obviously, the Republican-led House needed Democratic votes to avoid a shutdown, and I was pleased to see that the speaker was willing to work with Democrats and resisted the siren song of the hard right in the House. And if that continues, we can avoid further shutdowns and finish the work of funding the government.”

Lawmakers are expected to focus more extensively on these requests after the Thanksgiving holiday with the aim of negotiating a deal.