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Senate to Vote on Stopgap Funding Bill Passed by House to Avert Possible Shutdown

Senate to Vote on Stopgap Funding Bill Passed by House to Avert Possible Shutdown

By Andrea Vacchiano, Elizabeth Elkind

The U.S. Senate approved a stopgap spending measure to avert a government shutdown with just three hours to spare in a Saturday night vote. The final vote was 88-9.

The House passed the short-term spending bill to fund the government for another 45 days Saturday afternoon. The bill, also known as a continuing resolution (CR), passed the House 335 to 91, and caused lawmakers to break out into applause amid the pressure of a shutdown.

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) set up a roll call shortly after 8 p.m. on Saturday night. The Senate needed 60 yeas to pass the bill.

The fiscal year ends at midnight on Oct. 1. Had the Senate rejected the bill to extend funding past midnight, nonessential government programs would have paused and thousands of federal employees would have been furloughed.

Capitol building in the evening

The US Capitol in Washington, DC, US, on Saturday, Sept. 30, 2023. Congress is voting today in a last-ditch effort to, if not avoid a lapse in government funding at midnight tonight, at least try to make a seemingly inevitable shutdown a short one.

The bill authorizes funding only for another 45 days. The funding includes $16 billion in disaster relief but does not include assistance to Ukraine.

Previous CR proposals from Republicans did not get any support from Democrats, but members of Congress from both parties voted for the stopgap bill Saturday. Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy said during a presser that the stopgap will give Congress more time to “get their work done.”

McCarthy walking in chamber

U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., returns to his office at the U.S. Capitol, Saturday, in Washington, D.C.

“The House is going to act so government will not shut down,” McCarthy told reporters Saturday. “We will put a clean funding stopgap on the floor to keep government open for 45 days for the House and Senate to get their work done.”

Warner, Schatz and Manchin speaking

Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), left, Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hi.), and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) speak outside the Senate Chamber following passage in the House of a 45-day continuing resolution, Saturday, in Washington, DC.

“We will also, knowing what had transpired through the summer, the disasters in Florida, the horrendous fire in Hawaii, and also disasters in California and Vermont, we will put the supplemental portion that the president asked for in disaster there too,” McCarthy added.

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