Last-Minute Deal In Senate Passes Stopgap Funding Bill, Avoids Government Shutdown

The US Senate on Saturday night approved a House-passed 45-day stopgap funding bill, in a last-minute effort to avert a federal government shutdown.

A bill that keeps the government funded until mid-November but includes no new aid for Ukraine was approved in the Senate by 88 votes to nine, the BBC reported.

The 45-day resolution was proposed by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy after a rebellion by hard-line fellow Republicans who control the chamber.

US Congress Lars Di Scenza / Wikipedia Commons

Its passage capped off a dramatic day on Capitol Hill that started with the government appearing headed for a near-certain shutdown. Instead, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, who had for weeks brushed off demands to work with Democrats on a spending solution, brought forward a temporary patch that could pass only with substantial Democratic help, The New York Times reported.

Once signed by the President into law, it will avert a disruption of federal services.

No fear of disruption in Federal Services

In a statement released shortly after the Senate vote, President Joe Biden said: "Tonight, bipartisan majorities in the House and Senate voted to keep the government open, preventing an unnecessary crisis that would have inflicted needless pain on millions of hardworking Americans."

"This bill ensures that active-duty troops will continue to get paid, travellers will be spared airport delays, millions of women and children will continue to have access to vital nutrition assistance, and so much more. This is good news for the American people," he added.

"We cannot under any circumstances allow American support for Ukraine to be interrupted," Biden said, adding he fully expects the Speaker will keep "his commitment to the people of Ukraine and secure passage of the support needed to help Ukraine at this critical moment".

A shutdown, which would place tens of thousands of federal employees on furlough without pay and suspend various government services, was slated to begin on Sunday.