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Congress passes bill to avoid government shutdown

President Joe Biden is expected to sign the bill, which will keep the government open through early March.
Senate approves bill to avoid government shutdown
Posted at 1:59 PM, Jan 18, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-18 17:31:17-05

The U.S. House and Senate passed a bipartisan short-term spending bill to avoid a government shutdown ahead of the Friday deadline.

In the House, the vote was 314-108. In the Senate it was 77-18.

President Joe Biden is expected to sign the bill, which will keep the government open and spending at current levels until at least early March. 

House Speaker Mike Johnson and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer previously said this extension would give the two sides time to work out differences and pass individual spending bills. 

Johnson has faced pressure from conservatives who are concerned about current funding levels and have called for cuts. In the House, 107 Republicans voted against the bill. Only two Democrats voted against the measure.

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It remains to be seen whether the decision to strike a deal with Schumer could put Johnson's job in jeopardy.

It was a short-term spending bill that ultimately cost former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy his job. Rep. Matt Gaetz filed a motion to vacate in October after McCarthy reached a deal with Democrats to keep the government open. 

The current funding bill is different from the national security package President Joe Biden has requested. He wants money allocated to Ukraine, Israel and the southern border. 

Top congressional leaders met with the president at the White House on Wednesday. They all expressed differences, with Johnson saying the border must be the top priority. However, they appeared hopeful that a deal can be worked out.

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