In a remarkable display of bipartisan cooperation, the U.S. House of Representatives secured a lifeline for the government’s operations. Over the weekend, the House approved a 45-day continuing resolution (CR) with a resounding 335-91 vote, marking a crucial step in preventing a government shutdown. The proposed CR, H.R. 5860, spearheaded by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), now awaits Senate approval, widely anticipated.
Notably, this unexpected turn of events witnessed a coalition of Republicans and Democrats coming together to support the CR, signaling a commitment to fiscal responsibility and averting the potential chaos of a shutdown. While the measure includes funding for government agencies through mid-November, it also earmarks substantial funding for disaster relief, underscoring the importance of disaster preparedness in an ever-changing climate landscape.
Democrats, in an act of compromise, endorsed the bill despite its omission of U.S. aid to Ukraine, an issue of global significance. However, the more conservative members of McCarthy’s caucus have expressed reservations about cooperating with Democrats to avoid a shutdown, raising the specter of a possible leadership change.
Recent weeks have witnessed the introduction of far-right anti-LGBTQ amendments to spending packages, although these amendments had no realistic chance of becoming law. Despite these divisive elements, the Senate voted 88-9 to pass a “clean” continuing resolution, maintaining current government funding levels until November 17 and allocating $16 billion to address the needs of natural disaster victims.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) highlighted the importance of bipartisanship in this decision, emphasizing that it reflects the Senate’s tradition of working together for the greater good. As the Senate’s “clean” CR heads to the White House, President Biden expressed his relief and commitment to avoiding unnecessary crises. However, he underscored the urgency of continuing support for Ukraine, reminding Congress of its crucial role in safeguarding international stability. As the nation breathes a sigh of relief, the focus now shifts to President Biden’s expected signing of the measure, securing government operations and vital services before the midnight deadline.