House passes stopgap bill to end US government shutdown | Politics News

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A bill that would extend funding to early 2024 was passed with the support of Democrats and must be signed by midnight on Friday.

The United States House of Representatives has passed a temporary spending bill to end a government shutdown that could have left as many as 1.5 million public workers without pay.

The legislation, which would extend government funding until mid-January, now goes to the Senate, where Democrats have a slim majority and where Republicans have also shown support.

To prevent a shutdown, President Joe Biden must sign the measure before current funding for federal agencies expires at midnight on Friday.

The 336-95 vote was a victory for new House Speaker Mike Johnson, who was forced to cross the aisle to Democrats as hard-right conservatives rebelled against his plan. .

“It is a matter of conscience for all of us to ensure that the government remains operational. We owe it to the American people,” Johnson said earlier Tuesday at a news conference.

Johnson was elected speaker less than three weeks ago, after weeks of turmoil that left the chamber without a leader, even as the war in Ukraine and the Israel-Hamas war fueled calls for swift action in Congress.

With a slim 221-213 majority, he cannot lose more than three Republican votes on legislation that Democrats oppose.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a Democrat, said in a statement after the vote that he was pleased the bill passed “with a strong bipartisan vote,” adding that he would work with his fellow Republicans in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, to pass it “as soon as possible.”

​​​​The stopgap spending bill would extend government funding at current levels through early 2024 in a two-part process that temporarily funds some federal agencies until Jan. 19 and others until February 2, giving lawmakers more time than detailed spending bills that cover everything from February. weapons to scientific research.

The bill passed with 209 Democratic votes and 127 Republican votes, with 93 Republicans and two Democrats voting against it.

Some hard-line Republicans said they were frustrated that the bill did not include the deep spending cuts and border security measures they sought.

Meanwhile, Democrats were pushing for their own additions – including aid to Israel, Ukraine and Taiwan – but they are now likely to be dealt with separately, with a $61bn request from the White House for Kyiv looks especially fragile among conservative opponents.

Johnson’s predecessor as speaker, Kevin McCarthy, was ousted by a handful of hardline Republicans after a similar vote in September to end a shutdown that also depended on Democratic votes.

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