Senate Passes Stopgap Funding Bill

( – A potential weekend government shutdown was avoided as the United States Senate approved a temporary stopgap budget package and submitted it to President Joe Biden for signature. On the afternoon of November 14th, the House of Representatives approved Speaker Mike Johnson’s temporary budget bill. With this bill, government funding would be extended into the following year. 

Ninety-three Republican lawmakers opposed Johnson’s continuing resolution, including opposition from the House Freedom Caucus and its supporters. The final vote was 336-95, with the backing of all but two Democrats, which was enough to approve the measure under suspension of the rules.

Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-NY) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) supported the plan. With a Senate vote of 87 to 11, Congress resolved its third budget impasse in 2023. Legislators came dangerously close to triggering a partial government shutdown that would have affected four million federal workers and would have caused a default on Washington’s $31 trillion debt.

Democrats were delighted that the spending levels corresponded with the May deal with Biden and did not contain any problematic items on themes such as abortion and other thorny social concerns. The Republican Party had publicly indicated its desire to prevent a shutdown because of the adverse effects it would have on national parks, scientific research, and financial regulation.

Pentagon contracting will be slowed while the Defense Department seeks to speed it up due to the lack of a complete defense budget bill in the first four months of the fiscal year. However, they prevent the worst consequences of government shutdowns, such as withholding military pay and the furloughing of most civilian staff. Defense Department money has been extended until February 2nd, while military construction funding has been extended until January 19th.

The legislative body has bought itself a little more than two months. Democrats in the Senate and Republicans in the House face a deadline on January 19th, 2024, not long after the Iowa caucuses kick off the 2024 presidential election season.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) claimed there would be no drama, no delay, and no government shutdown before the vote.

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