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Government shutdown: Congress passes 45-day plan, sends to Biden

The House approval came after House Speaker Kevin McCarthy abandoned plans for deep spending cuts and relied on help from Democrats.

Washington – a threat federal government shutdown Congress approved a temporary funding bill to keep agencies open late Saturday, hours before a midnight deadline, and sent the measure to President Joe Biden for his signature.

Dropped package in a hurry Aid to Ukrainea White House priority that faces growing opposition from Republican lawmakers, but adds $16 billion in federal disaster aid, Meet all of Biden’s demands. The bill funds the government until November 17.

After days of whirlwind turmoil in the House, Speaker Kevin McCarthy abruptly abandoned the right’s demands for deep spending cuts and instead relied on Democrats to pass the bill, putting his own job at risk. The Senate ultimately passed the bill.

“We’re going to do our job,” McCarthy, a California Republican, said before the House vote. “We’re going to be the adults in the room. We’re going to keep the government open.”

Days of chaos in the House of Representatives have pushed the government to the brink of a federal shutdown, with dizzying events unfolding in Congress.

The result temporarily ended the threat of closure.If no deal is reached by Sunday Federal workers to face furloughsmore than 2 million active duty and reserve troops will have to work without pay, while the programs and services Americans rely on from coast to coast will Beginning to face disruptions.

“Americans can breathe a sigh of relief,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York.

The plan funds the government at current 2023 levels until mid-November, setting off another potential crisis if the government is not fully funded by then. The package was approved by the House in a vote of 335 to 91, with the support of a majority of Republicans and nearly all Democrats. The Senate approved it by a vote of 88 to 9.

But losing Ukraine aid would be devastating for lawmakers from both parties who have vowed to support the president Vladimir Zelensky following his recent visit to Washington. The Senate bill includes $6 billion for Ukraine, and the two chambers were deadlocked on Saturday as lawmakers assessed their options.

New York House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries said “the American people deserve better” and warned in a lengthy speech that “extreme” Republicans were at risk of a government shutdown.

To get the House package approved, McCarthy, a California Republican, was forced to rely on Democrats as the speaker’s far-right wing said it would oppose any short-term funding measure, denying him the votes he needs to win a slim majority. The move could jeopardize his job amid calls for him to step down.

After leaving the right wing, McCarthy will almost certainly face a motion to attempt to remove the Speaker, although it is not at all certain that there will be enough votes to oust the Speaker. On Saturday, a majority of Republicans voted in favor of the package, while 90 opposed it.

“If someone wants to kick me out because I want to be the adult in the room, go ahead and try,” McCarthy said of the threat to evict him. “But I think this country is too important.”

RELATED: McCarthy’s last-ditch effort to avert government shutdown fails as Republicans defect

The White House is tracking developments on Capitol Hill and aides are briefing the president, who is spending the weekend in Washington.

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, who has supported Ukraine aid despite resistance from within his own ranks, is expected to continue to seek U.S. support for Kyiv in its fight against Russia.

“I agree to continue to fight for more economic and security assistance for Ukraine,” McConnell, R-Ky., said before the vote.

McCarthy’s earlier plan to pass a Republican-only bill that would have slashed spending for most government agencies by as much as 30% was rejected by the White House and Democrats as too extreme, and the House quickly reversed course after the plan failed on Friday.

“Our options are disappearing by the minute,” said Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart of Florida, a senior Republican.

The federal government is moving towards Directly enter shutdown state That creates severe uncertainty for federal workers in every state across the country and the people who rely on them — from the military to border control agents to office workers, scientists and others.

Families who rely on Head Start, food benefits and countless other programs large and small are affected. Face potential disruptions or outright shutdowns. At airports, Transportation Security Administration officers and air traffic controllers are expected to work without pay, but travelers may face delays in renewing their U.S. passports or other travel documents.

RELATED: Government shutdown coming this weekend. what does that mean? Who gets hit and what happens next?

McCarthy’s earlier plan to keep the government open failed Friday amid opposition from some factions. 21 extreme right diehards This is despite significant spending cuts of nearly 30% at many agencies and strict border security regulations.

The White House rejected McCarthy’s offer to meet with Biden after McCarthy left the White House. debt deal They helped determine budget levels earlier this year.

To appeal to his far-right base, McCarthy made a number of concessions, including restoring spending limits that conservatives demanded in January as part of a deal to help him Become Speaker of the House of Representatives.

But that’s not enough, as the right insists that the House follow regular rules and debate and approve 12 separate spending bills needed to fund government agencies, a process that often takes months.

Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida, a leading Republican critic of McCarthy, warned that he would introduce a motion calling for a vote to remove the speaker.

Some Republican die-hards, including Gaetz, are allies of former President Trump, Biden’s main rival in the 2024 election. Trump has been encouraging Republicans to fight hard for their priorities and even “shut it down.”

In an early closed-door session at the Capitol, several House Republicans, particularly those facing tough re-election next year, urged their colleagues to find ways to prevent a government shutdown.

“We all have a responsibility to lead and govern,” said Rep. Mike Lawler, R-N.Y.

Rep. Mike Quigley of Illinois, co-chairman of the Congressional Ukraine Caucus, the only House Democrat to vote against the plan, called it a victory for Russian President Vladimir Putin and “Putin sympathizers everywhere.” “It is in our national interest to protect Ukraine,” he said.

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