Joe Biden signs bill after Senate votes to avert partial government shutdown
President Joe Biden Joe Biden signs bills to prevent a government shutdown. The House and the Senate passed the bill this afternoon in a 65-35 vote as all 50 Democrats supported it and 15 Republicans joined them.
In a statement after Biden signed the bill, he said it “meets critical and urgent needs of the nation.” He added that “There’s so much more to do, but the passage of this bill reminds us that bipartisan work is possible and it gives us time to pass longer-term funding to keep our government running and delivering for the American people,” Biden said.
Government funds will run out by midnight. The White House announced that Biden signed the continuing resolution around 7:30 p.m.
The House voted the bill by a 254-175 margin. All Democratic representatives and 34 Republicans backed it.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., assumed the bill would keep government services running, prevent furloughs for hundreds of thousands of workers and defend the economy.
“A shutdown is not anything anyone wants,” Pelosi said.
“At this time – at any time – it is a very, very bad thing to let the government shut down,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y declared.
“This is a good outcome, one I’m happy we are getting done,” Schumer spoke before the Senate vote.
“For this moment, this is one of the biggest problems that has faced us in the last while, making sure the government stays open, and now we can be sure it will,” he added.
The so-called continuing resolution would set spending at current levels in December while lawmakers layout a full-year funding plan. The bill includes money for storm relief and resettlement of Afghan refugees.
Earlier in the week, the Senate blocked the House version of the legislation in a procedural vote because Republicans opposed extending the debt ceiling, for political reasons they wanted to force Democrats to pass it on their own.
An amendment to the spending bill from Senator Roger Marshall, R-Kan., tried to ban the use of federal funds to execute Covid-19 vaccine mandates, but it failed by a 50-50 vote, with all Republicans in favor and all Democrats opposed.
The House was prepared to vote on an infrastructure bill on Thursday, a time when the bill has divided Democrats. Some Democrats say the infrastructure bill should go hand in hand with a $3.5 trillion package of Biden’s social welfare priorities, which is still being negotiated.
“It is a glimmer of hope as we go through many, many other activities,” Schumer said.
When the government is funded, temporarily, Democrats will focus their full attention on the need to increase the federal borrowing limit, currently at $28.4 trillion.
The United States has never defaulted on a debt in the modern era, and historically, both sides have voted to increase the limit. Democrats who joined the Republican Senate majority did so three times during Donald Trump’s presidency. This time Democrats wanted to take care of both priorities in one law, but Senate Republicans prevented that effort on Monday.
Raising or suspending the debt limit allows the federal government to pay off obligations that arise. It does not allow new spending.
Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky has claimed that Democrats should pass a debt limit extension with the same budget tools they are using to try to pass a $3.5 trillion effort to expand the social safety net and cope with climate change. He repeated that warning as the Senate opened on Thursday, even as Democrats have marked that choice “nonstarter”.
“We’re able to fund the government today because the majority accepted reality. The same thing will need to happen on the debt limit next week,” McConnell said.
Republicans assumed that Democrats have chosen to ram through their political priorities on their own and therefore have a responsibility to increase the debt limit on their own.
Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla said that “So long as the Democratic majority continues to insist on spending money hand over fist, Republicans will refuse to help them lift the debt ceiling.”
Biden signs bill, which has received both praises and criticizes
Those who object to Biden signing the bill, reflecting the highly charged atmosphere from Biden’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan, rampant inflation, border crisis, vaccine mandates, and $3.5 worth of infrastructure bills intended to be paid by increasing taxes. Many people posted on Twitter to mock the president’s decision.
They even wear political t-shirts to express their dissatisfaction with the Command-In-Chef. These shirts reflect the problem the president has caused like the border crisis or tax increase.
Democrats pushed a $3.5 trillion, 10-year bill that enhances social safety nets and climate programs through the House Budget Committee on Saturday, but the plan is met with stark opposition from Republicans as well as moderate Democrats who wonder about the proposed business tax hike.
Because the $3.5 trillion bills are opposed by Republicans, Democrats are attempting to enact it through a budgetary process known as reconciliation, with only Democratic support.
But this would require a “yes” vote from every Democrat in the Senate, and two of them, Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin, state they won’t support it unless prices drop. Manchin released a statement Wednesday night reiterating his desire for a strategic “pause” on legislation, emphasizing that the country should not be spending trillions of dollars now.
Biden signs bills or the government will be shut down. Do you agree with Biden’s move? Feel free to let us know in the comment.