The Senate narrowly avoided a government shutdown by passing a stopgap budget package to finance the government through November 17 by a vote of 88-9. Shortly later, President Biden signed the measure into law.

Shutdown big Risk

Package Grants to avoid shutdown

The package also grants the Federal Aviation Administration the additional funding it needs through the end of the year and contains $16 billion in emergency disaster aid that the White House had sought. Despite strong bipartisan support in the Senate for this financing, it does not contain any new assistance for Ukraine.

Prior to signing the bill, Biden commended it and urged Congress to act promptly to rectify the underfunding of Ukraine.

In a statement, Vice President Biden stated, “We cannot, under any circumstances, allow American support for Ukraine to be discontinued. I am completely confident that the Speaker will keep his word to the Ukrainian people and work to pass the money needed to help Ukraine at this critical juncture.

After House Republicans were unable to reach an agreement for weeks, the abrupt accord on spending in Congress was a significant U-turn. After a meeting behind closed doors with House Republicans, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, a Republican from California, announced the plan early on Saturday.

Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., who wanted a solid commitment from party leaders in both parties on the Ukraine funding, helped to spearhead the hours-long delay that led to the vote.

I believe it’s crucial that we convey the message that the partisan gridlock we currently experience does not detract from our shared commitment to ensuring that the United States remains engaged in this conflict and that we continue to support the Ukrainian people in their struggle.” Bennet said to reporters outside the Capitol.

Prior to the closure deadline, the Senate vote came to an end a day of dramatic swings in Congress.

The House approved the extension by a vote of 335 to 91 earlier in the day. For weeks, McCarthy has refused to take into account any spending measure that would need Democratic backing. McCarthy changed direction in response to the threat of a damaging shutdown for both politics and the economy, explicitly appealing to Democrats for assistance in passing the package.

Put your partisanship aside and concentrate on the interests of the American people, McCarthy urged reporters prior to the vote.

Democrats supported the bill more than Republicans did in the final vote of 209-126.

There is no money for Ukraine to avoid Shutdown

Because the present budget is slated to expire at the start of October, the White House, congressional Democrats, and several Senate Republicans insisted on providing financial support for Ukraine. However, Democrats abandoned those intentions in order to pass a spending agreement since a group of House Republicans vehemently oppose further assistance for Ukraine.

Democrats in the Senate bemoaned the paucity of financing for Ukraine but asserted that there is a bipartisan commitment to find a solution. According to House Republicans, the only way to do this is to combine financing with funds to counter illegal immigration at the Mexican border. Sen. Chris Murphy, a Democrat from Connecticut, disagreed.

Simply said, I believe it will be much better for all of us and the globe if we keep the Ukrainian issue distinct from all other political issues,” Murphy said to reporters in the Capitol.

He said that although parliamentarians are “going back to the drawing board” to determine what should be included in a package of help for Ukraine, “that can’t happen overnight.

Government Shutdown

Republicans in the Senate and the House are divided on whether to approve further financing for Ukraine without first completing an audit of the existing funding’s usage.

Sen. J.D. Vance, a Republican from Ohio, said, “We’re going to have a really, really difficult conversation about whether and how we’re going to fund Ukraine.” “I believe this is a win for those of us who are wary of providing Ukraine with ongoing assistance. However, whether it happens this week or in three weeks, there will be another battle.

McCarthy’s reversal on Government Shutdown

The unusual burst of activity followed a meeting of House Republicans to strategize in the Capitol’s basement.

A temporary solution to financing the government, according to certain McCarthy friends like Rep. Dusty Johnson, R-S.D., was required so that House Republicans could continue to press for conservative spending policies without the prospect of a shutdown. Leaders emphasized that passing a measure with only Republicans was impossible given the ongoing opposition from a number of conservative GOP lawmakers. McCarthy has a slim majority and is only allowed to lose up to four votes.

government shutdown

Johnson attributed the speaker’s decision to this new strategy to the 21 extreme-right Republicans who on Friday obstructed a GOP package. These individuals “put us in a position to pass something that was unfortunately a little less conservative.” The good news is that this is still a way to use the appropriations process to achieve the type of conservative victories we need.

The House will continue to pursue its own funding bills, according to House Republican leaders, who also called off the district break scheduled to begin in October. The House has already passed four of the 12 budget measures that pay federal agencies.

The stopgap bill was opposed by conservatives. Reporters were informed by Rep. Bob Good, R-Virginia, that he would vote against a continuing resolution. No such thing as a clean CR exists. He reasoned that if one were to pass, he didn’t think the House would take up the remaining yearly budget bills.

McCarthy’s leadership is at risk to avoid Shutdown

McCarthy’s action makes him vulnerable to a gavel challenge. Rep. Matt Gaetz of the Florida Republican Party has made hints that he intends to introduce a motion to remove the speaker for days. McCarthy agreed to the rules when he ran for office in January, and as a result, just one legislator is required to submit a “motion to vacate” – a resolution that requests a vote of confidence in the speaker.

The speaker responded to a question from reporters about if he was concerned about losing his job by saying, “You know what, if somebody wants to remove because Try as I might, I want to be the grownup in the room.”

Democrats support McCarthy’s strategy to avoid shutdown

Drama began early in the day when House Democrats tried to stymie action on the House measure so that the Senate could vote first on their own version of the legislation, which would have given Ukraine around $6 billion.

government shutdown

Across the Capitol, Democratic staffers on the House Appropriations Committee published an analysis slamming the plan for not adding funding for Ukraine as senators scurried toward their own vote.

McCarthy’s idea, however, swiftly gained support from Senate Republicans, and House Democrats gave in.

The leading Democrat on the Rules Committee, Rep. Jim McGovern of Massachusetts, expressed disappointment with the decision to cut off funding to Ukraine but said that Congress must go forward with the agreement they were able to make.

According to McGovern, “there is bipartisan agreement on [Ukraine] and we have had resounding votes on this, so I think we will work that out.” But right now, this is a measure that Democrats can support, even if I would have worded it a little bit better. I believe we achieved some significant gains.

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