US House passes temporary spending bill
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US House passes temporary spending bill, averts govt shutdown

Washington, United States: On Tuesday, the government shutdown was averted after a temporary spending bill was passed by the US House of Representatives. The temporary bill was passed with board support from both parties’ lawmakers, according to the reports by news agency Reuters.

The bill would extend the funding for the government through mid-January 2024. It is to be noted that the legislation will be presented to the Senate – where the Democrats and Republicans have voiced support.

The federal agency’s bill will expire on Friday at midnight. To ensure that the shutdown is prevented, the Senate and Republican-controlled House must enact legislation that President Joe Biden can sign into law, as per the reports by Reuters.

House Speaker Mike Johnson achieved a triumph with a 336-95 vote, overcoming the opposition from fellow Republicans and marking the inaugural consequential vote of his tenure.

Appointment of Mike Johnson as House Speaker

US House Speaker Mike Johnson | Credits: AP

Johnson took the position less than three (3) weeks ago – after a leaderless turmoil for more than three weeks. He had a slim majority of 221-213, which shows that Johnson could not afford to lose more than three Republican votes on the legislation that was opposed by Democrats.

Comment by Democrat Senate Majority Leader

The Democrat Senate Majority Leader – Chuck Schumer, following the bill’s passing on Tuesday night, underscored he is glad that the bill was passed “with a strong bipartisan vote,” according to the reports by Reuters.

He added that he has been anticipating working with his Senate Republican counterpart – Mitch McConnell, to pass it “as soon as possible.”

Notably, this temporary bill will extend government funding to current levels in 2024. This time will act as a window for lawmakers to craft detailed spending bills that will cover all sectors, including military and scientific research.

Bill supported by 209 Democrats

Some Republicans on the party’s right side expressed frustration because the plan didn’t have the significant spending cuts and border security measures they sought.

Reportedly, the bill was supported by 209 Democrats and 127 Republicans, whereas the remaining two (2) Democrats and 93 Republicans voted against it.

Kevin McCarthy’s ouster

Former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy | Credits: POLITICO (AP)

It is to be highlighted that during a similar voting process, former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy was abruptly removed by a handful of Republicans in September. However, this time, hardline conservatives declined to turn against Johnson.

Statements by other Republicans

In this regard, Representative Bob Good was quoted saying, “We don’t support it. But we do support him,” as per Reuters.

Additionally, other Republicans stated that this was the better option as compared to the others. Representative Mike Garcia said, “This isn’t ideal. But a shutdown is a far worse world to be in.”

This bill will extend the funding for benefits, including military construction, transportation, housing, urban development, agriculture, the Food and Drug Administration and energy and water programs through January 19. In addition to this, funding for other federal operations, including defense, will expire by February 2.

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