Congress passes stopgap bill to prevent government shutdown

Congress on Thursday passed a short-term stopgap spending bill to prevent a partial government shutdown at the end of the week.

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The short-term extension is the latest of multiple extensions over the last few months, The Associated Press reported. It is expected to be the last extension for the current fiscal year.

The extension would keep some federal agencies operating through March 8, the AP reported. It would help another set of federal agencies to operate through March 22.

The House voted 320 to 99, according to CNN. 113 Republicans voted in favor of it. Ninety-seven Republicans voted against it with two Democrats joining them. The measure was approved hours later by the Senate with a 77 to 14 vote, according to The New York Times.

“Let’s finish the job of funding the government so we don’t have to do this again,” Senator Chuck Schumer, Democratic of New York and the majority leader said before the vote, according to the Times. “This year, the good Lord gave us an extra day in February, so let’s make sure we finish the job and don’t drag this debate into March.”

“The appropriations process is ugly,” Johnson said, according to CNN. “Democracy is ugly. This is the way it works every year – always has – except that we’ve instituted some new innovations. We broke the omnibus fever, right? That’s how Washington has been run for years. We’re trying to turn the aircraft carrier back to real budgeting and spending reform. This was an important thing to break it up into smaller pieces.”

“We’ll get the job done,” House Speaker Mike Johnson said.

President Biden will get the bill next so it can be signed into law, the AP reported. It should get to him before March 8.

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