US House passes spending bill to avert government shutdown – World ReadingS


WASHINGTON: The US House of Representatives on Tuesday passed a stopgap spending bill that would avert a government shutdown with broad support from lawmakers in both parties.

The legislation, which would extend government funding through mid-January, now heads to the Senate, where Democratic and Republican leaders have voiced their support.

To avoid a shutdown, the Senate and the Republican-controlled House must pass legislation that President Joe Biden can sign into law before current funding for federal agencies expires at midnight Friday.

The 336-95 vote was a victory for House Speaker Mike Johnson, who faced opposition from some fellow Republicans in the first vote of his term.

Johnson was elected to office less than three weeks ago after weeks of turmoil that left parliament leaderless.

With a slim 221-213 majority, Trump can’t afford to lose more than three Republican votes on legislation that Democrats oppose.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a Democrat, said after the vote Tuesday night that he was pleased the bill passed with a “strong bipartisan vote” and added that he would work with his Senate Republican counterpart Mitch McConnell to get it passed. “as soon as possible.”

The interim spending bill would extend government funding at current levels through 2024, giving lawmakers more time to draft detailed spending bills covering everything from the military to scientific research.

US House Republicans eye plan to avoid government shutdown as Moody’s warns

Some Republicans on the party’s right wing said they were disappointed that the plan did not include the steep spending cuts and border security measures they sought.

The bill passed with 209 Democrats and 127 Republicans voting, while 93 Republicans and 2 Democrats voted against it.

Johnson’s previous speaker, Kevin McCarthy, was ousted by a handful of Republicans in September after a similar vote relied on Democratic votes to prevent a shutdown.

But hardline conservatives said they did not oppose Johnson.

“We do not support this. But we support it,” said Rep. Bob Good. Other Republicans said it was better than other options.

“This is not ideal,” Republican Rep. Mike Garcia said.

“But lockdown is a much worse world to be in.”

Johnson’s bill would extend funding for military construction, veterans benefits, transportation, housing, urban development, agriculture, the Food and Drug Administration and energy and water programs through Jan. 19.

Funding for all other federal operations, including defense, will end on February 2.

Congress is in its third fiscal stalemate this year, following a months-long spring stalemate over more than $31 trillion in U.S. debt that has pushed the federal government to the brink of default.

Ongoing partisan gridlock led Moody’s to downgrade its credit rating outlook on the U.S. to “negative” from “stable” on Friday; because high interest rates will continue to raise borrowing costs, he said.

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