U.S. Government Shutdown Crisis Averted: Latest Updates and Analysis

2023-10-01 10:18:12

7 hours ago

On the eve of the U.S. government’s shutdown deadline on October 1, the House and Senate passed a short-term appropriation bill at the last minute, and President Biden signed it into effect before midnight, allowing the federal government to avoid a shutdown crisis.

The bill, which lasts for 45 days, keeps federal spending at current levels until November 17. The appropriation retains natural disaster aid spending, but eliminates a previously proposed $6 billion in aid to Ukraine.

Lawmakers from both parties cannot reach a consensus on the issue of aid to Ukraine. Democrats support aid to Ukraine, but some Republicans oppose it and believe that domestic issues such as strengthening the border are the top priority. Since the outbreak of the Russia-Ukraine war on February 24, 2022, the United States has provided more than $75 billion in aid to Ukraine.

Biden issued a statement after the Senate vote, saying that although House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and the vast majority of Congress firmly support Ukraine, “there is no new funding in this agreement to continue to reflect that support, and we will continue to reflect this support in any situation.” “U.S. support for Ukraine cannot be allowed to be interrupted.”

Members of Senate leadership from both parties issued a rare joint statement pledging to ensure continued U.S. government support for Ukraine in the coming weeks.

A White House official told CBS News, “We fully expect that Speaker McCarthy, who has expressed support for funding assistance to Ukraine to fight Russia’s illegal invasion, will soon submit a separate bill to Congress.”

image copyrightEPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock

Image caption,

House Speaker McCarthy faces pressure from hard-liners in the Republican Party

The U.S. Congress has been in a deadlock over funding issues. If funding cannot be passed before the start of the new fiscal year on October 1, the government will shut down, millions of employees will be furloughed, and a large number of public services will be suspended.

Republican House Speaker McCarthy put forward a new proposal one day before the shutdown deadline, resisting the resistance of hard-liners in the party, and relied on the support of Democrats to pass it in the House of Representatives with 335 votes in favor and 91 votes against. Among the dissenting votes, 90 came from Republicans.

On the same day, the bill was sent to the Democratic-controlled Federal Senate for a vote and passed by a vote of 88 to 9.

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Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said after the vote: “The American people can breathe a sigh of relief: There will be no government shutdown tonight.” He pointed out that the only way to avoid a government shutdown is bipartisanship, which is very difficult. Glad McCarthy finally listened to the Democrats.

But McCarthy relied on Democratic votes to pass the bill, a move that was considered a red line within the Republican Party.

Some far-right members of the party, including Matt Gaetz, threatened to introduce a bill to remove McCarthy from the speakership. McCarthy responded by saying, “Come on, come on.” “There must be an adult in this room,” emphasizing that he must take the risk. Risk losing your job to defend the American people.

Since this temporary appropriation is only valid for 45 days, if a full-year appropriation bill is not passed before November 17, the US government will once again face the crisis of shutdown. Analysts believe that the fundamental differences between the two parties on government spending policies have not yet been resolved, and this farce is likely to be staged again in less than seven weeks.

The U.S. government has shut down ten times since 1981. The last time it took place was on December 21, 2018, during Trump’s term, and it took 34 days to end, breaking a historical record.

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