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Congress approves short-term funding bill to avoid government shutdown

This short-term bill agreement really just puts a Band-Aid on an issue that was supposed to be resolved last year.
House passes bill to temporarily fund the government through March 8
Posted at 2:26 PM, Feb 29, 2024

The Senate has passed a short-term funding bill by a vote of 77-13 to prevent a partial government shutdown Friday night.

The bill now goes to President Joe Biden's desk. The White House tells Scripps News that he will sign it, averting a possible partial shutdown until at least March 8, with a full government shutdown possible on March 22 if lawmakers fail to pass additional funding bills.

In a statement on Thursday, President Biden approved of the short-term problem-solving by Congress, but underlined the need for a permanent solution.

"In the days ahead, Congress must do its job and pass full-year funding bills that deliver for the American people," President Biden wrote. "And House Republicans must act on the bipartisan National Security Supplemental, which already passed the Senate with overwhelming bipartisan support and would pass the House if it was brought to a vote."

The news comes hours after the House of Representatives voted 320-99 in favor of the bill.

On Wednesday night, congressional leaders tentatively agreed to fund some federal agencies until March 8, and the rest until March 22. If this short-term funding extension is signed into law, it will extend funding for half of the government until those dates.

This agreement puts a Band-Aid on an issue that was supposed to be resolved last year.  This is the fourth temporary extension in recent months.

By the end of March, Congress is expected to approve over $1.6 trillion in spending for the fiscal year that started on Oct. 1. However, the short-term bill approved Thursday doesn't include the $95.3 billion in aid the Senate approved for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan, or the $9 billion allocated for humanitarian aid to civilians in Gaza, the West Bank and other conflict-affected areas.

“We’ve got a lot of priorities before us, but we have to get the government funded and secure our border and then we’ll address everything else," House Speaker Mike Johnson said Tuesday.

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