US Congress approves a temporary measure to keep the government open for 45 days
The United States House of Representatives approved Saturday a stopgap measure to fund the federal government for 45 days and avoid an imminent government shutdown at midnight, Azernews reports, citing foreign media sources.
The Senate will now have to vote on the bill before midnight to avoid a closure, which would have serious consequences for the functioning of the country’s government and the economy if it lasts too long.
The motion was announced Saturday morning by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, a Republican, and eventually received a total of 334 votes in favor, 209 from Democratic lawmakers and 125 from Republicans, who hold a majority in the House.
A total of 91 Republicans voted against the measure, many of them part of the more radical group of congressmen who are blocking the approval of the country’s budget by demanding greater cuts.
The bill that the House approved on Saturday would keep government agencies funded through mid-November and maintain funding for natural disaster relief, but it does not include any new money for Ukraine or the southern border.
These two were the major points of friction between Democrats and Republicans, and McCarthy ultimately chose to take them off the table in order to gain bipartisan support, despite opposition from the radicals in his party.
At midnight tonight, the government would run out of money, and most government agencies, museums, and national parks would be closed, while 1.3 million military personnel and hundreds of thousands of civil servants would not be paid.
McCarthy tried unsuccessfully Friday to pass a bill that would have funded the government for another month, through Oct. 31, but included restrictions on asylum programs and cuts to all but border security.
Democrats, who oppose these provisions on the border, and hard-line Republicans, who reject any move to keep the government operating and follow the instructions of former President Donald Trump (2017-2021), who urged them this week to resist and provoke the government shutdown, voted against the bill.
Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz