US Congress avoids government shutdown in last-minute deal

2023-10-01 08:27:17Kosova&Bota SHKRUAR NGA REDAKSIA VOX
American congress

The US government has avoided a federal shutdown after the House and Senate agreed on a short-term funding deal.

According to foreign media, this is a bill that keeps the government funded until November 17, but does not include any new aid for Ukraine - it passed the Senate with 88 votes against.

President Joe Biden signed it into law minutes before the midnight deadline.

The proposal was introduced by Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy after he fought off a "rebellion" by hardliners in his party.

A shutdown, which would put tens of thousands of federal workers on unpaid leave and suspend various government services, was scheduled to begin at 12:01 a.m. ET (04:01 GMT) on Sunday.

But in a dramatic U-turn Saturday afternoon, House Republicans tried to pass a temporary funding measure that would keep the government open until mid-November and make no major concessions on spending levels.

It was supported by more Democrats than Republicans, with about 90 Republicans voting against it.

The move was a blow to a small group of right-wing Republicans who have pushed back the negotiations in the chamber with steadfast demands for spending cuts.

However, with most lawmakers keen to avoid a shutdown, one of the faction's key demands, no more US funding for Ukraine's defense against its invasion by Russia, is reflected in the bill.

In a statement released shortly after the Senate vote, President Joe Biden said "extreme House Republicans" had sought to create a "manufactured crisis" and urged Speaker McCarthy to allow a further funding deal for Ukraine to passed without delay.

He said: "We cannot under any circumstances allow American support for Ukraine to end."