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Senate Passes Funding Bill to Avert Government Shutdown

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Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer: (Image: Archive)

In a dramatic eleventh-hour move on Saturday, the U.S. Senate passed a critical stopgap funding measure to avert an imminent federal government shutdown. The Senate vote tallied 88 in favor and 9 against.

The Saturday evening passage followed an unexpected shift in the House’s stance. Earlier on the same day, just hours before the deadline, the House, in a bipartisan move, approved a bill to extend government funding. This decision came after days of uncertainty regarding the shutdown’s avoidance. Now, the bill awaits President Joe Biden’s approval.

The proposed legislation ensures government operations until November 17, encompassing natural disaster aid. However, it lacks additional funding for Ukraine or border security. Notably, it also incorporates a provision to maintain the Federal Aviation Administration’s functionality.

Nine Republican senators dissented from the stopgap funding bill:

Tennessee Sen. Marsha Blackburn
Indiana Sen. Mike Braun
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz
Tennessee Sen. Bill Hagerty
Utah Sen. Mike Lee
Kansas Sen. Roger Marshall
Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul
Missouri Sen. Eric Schmitt
Ohio Sen. JD Vance

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer commended his colleagues for endorsing the stopgap spending bill, preventing a shutdown until mid-November. In remarks on the Senate floor, he expressed relief for the American people, emphasizing the day’s twists and turns. Schumer extended gratitude to Senate colleagues, especially appropriators, underscoring their bipartisan efforts that paved the way for the bill’s passage.

“It has been a day full of twists and turns, but the American people can breathe a sigh of relief: there will be no government shutdown tonight,” he said on the Senate floor.

“I want to thank my colleagues here in the Senate, especially our appropriators. Our bipartisanship made this bill possible,” added Schumer. “We will keep the government open for 45 days with a clean (continuing resolution), at current funding levels.”

Schumer declared victory, asserting that the bill averted the severe cuts sought by some Republicans. He highlighted the Senate’s bipartisan model, presenting it as an example for the House. Emphasizing the Democrats’ commitment to bipartisanship, Schumer acknowledged Speaker McCarthy’s eventual alignment with their message. Ultimately, more House Democrats supported the bill than Republicans, reinforcing the belief that bipartisanship was the optimal solution.

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