The US Congress approved a stopgap funding bill on Wednesday, December 21, 2023, in a rare show of cross-party unity to keep federal agencies running for another two months and avert a damaging holiday-season government shutdown.
The bill, which passed the Senate by a vote of 71-25 and the House by a vote of 260-162, provides $1.5 trillion in funding for the federal government through February 16, 2024. It also includes a number of other provisions, including $45 billion in aid to Ukraine and $40 billion in disaster relief for Florida and other states affected by Hurricane Ian.
The passage of the bill was a victory for President Biden, who had been urging Congress to pass a clean continuing resolution (CR) to avoid a government shutdown. The CR was opposed by some Republicans, who wanted it to include a number of riders, including funding for border security and changes to immigration policy.
However, Democrats were able to unite behind the CR, and the bill passed with the support of 14 Republicans in the Senate and 34 Republicans in the House.
The passage of the CR is a sign of the growing bipartisan cooperation in Congress. In recent years, Congress has been increasingly divided, with Republicans and Democrats often unable to agree on even the most basic legislation. However, the passage of the CR shows that the two parties are still capable of working together to achieve common goals.
The CR is a temporary solution, and Congress will still need to pass a number of spending bills in the coming months. However, the passage of the CR gives Congress a chance to catch its breath and focus on other important issues, such as raising the debt ceiling and passing a budget reconciliation bill.
The passage of the CR is also a good sign for the US economy. A government shutdown would have had a significant negative impact on the economy, and the passage of the CR removes that uncertainty. This will give businesses and consumers more confidence, and it will help to boost economic growth.