US House passes GOP funding bill to avert government shutdown during the pre-holiday period

The House of Representatives has successfully passed a bill to prevent a government shutdown before the holiday season, securing broad bipartisan support with a vote of 336 to 95, Fox News reported.

Only two Democrats and 93 Republicans voted against the bill. The legislation will now advance to the Senate, where Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has indicated swift consideration.

To avert a government shutdown during the pre-holiday period, the House initially extended government funding for fiscal year 2023 until November 17, providing additional time for Congress to pass individual appropriations bills. However, faced with another impending deadline, leaders in both the House and Senate agreed on the necessity of another short-term extension, known as a continuing resolution (CR), according to Fox News.

The successful passage of the bill marks a significant legislative test for Speaker Mike Johnson, who assumed the role less than a month ago following the removal of ex-Speaker Kevin McCarthy. Despite more Democrats supporting the bill than Republicans, Johnson secured a win by gaining majority support from his GOP Conference for the CR.

Also read: US House Speaker Johnson proposes dual-phase plan to prevent govt shutdown

The bill, proposed by Johnson, introduces two separate deadlines for funding different government sectors, aiming to establish more focused objectives. It sets a deadline of January 19 for addressing appropriations bills related to military construction and Veterans Affairs, agriculture, energy and water, transportation, and housing and urban development.

The remaining eight appropriations bills must be addressed by February 2, as reported by Fox News.

Some conservative members within Johnson’s GOP conference expressed reservations about the bill due to its absence of spending cuts and conservative policy riders.

Also read: US-China ties: Joe Biden to meet Xi Jinping on APEC summit sidelines. What to expect?

Nevertheless, the Senate leadership has tacitly approved the legislation, suggesting that Johnson’s initial major act as speaker is likely to prevent a government shutdown if President Biden approves.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell emphasised the shared goal of avoiding a shutdown, and both Schumer and McConnell pledged to work together to expedite the legislative process. While Democrats initially had concerns about Johnson’s decision to split up funding deadlines, the majority ultimately expressed relief at not having to vote for a CR that falls below fiscal 2023 funding levels, Fox News reported.

Meanwhile, a White House official said Tuesday that President Joe Biden is prepared to sign the House-approved government funding bill if it is passed by the Senate.

“If it passes the Senate, the President will sign this continuing resolution that maintains current funding levels and has no harmful policy riders,” CNN reported the official as saying. 

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This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.

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Updated: 15 Nov 2023, 06:30 AM IST

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