Congress Passes Stopgap Bill That Lacks Ukraine Funding

Congress managed to pass a last-minute, temporary bill to prevent a government shutdown. Notably, the funding package does not encompass assistance for Ukraine, a demand that had garnered support from Democrats.

Within mere hours of the midnight cutoff, the Senate approved a stopgap measure that maintains federal government funding at the current 2023 levels until November 17.

The package received House approval on Saturday afternoon with a vote of 335-91. The Senate, in turn, passed it on Saturday night with an 88-9 vote.

The bill will now proceed to President Joe Biden for his signature, officially becoming law.

The bill encompasses an extra $16 billion designated for natural disaster assistance. Notably, it lacks any provision for Ukraine aid.

Biden asserted that “extreme House Republicans” created a “manufactured crisis.”

The White House released a statement, saying, “Just a few months ago, Speaker McCarthy (R-CA) and I reached a budget agreement to avoid precisely this type of manufactured crisis. For weeks, extreme House Republicans tried to walk away from that deal by demanding drastic cuts that would have been devastating for millions of Americans. They failed.”

The Biden administration cautioned against withholding additional American tax funds from the Ukraine war effort.

The White House statement said, “While the Speaker and the overwhelming majority of Congress have been steadfast in their support for Ukraine, there is no new funding in this agreement to continue that support. We cannot under any circumstances allow American support for Ukraine to be interrupted.”

President Joe Biden expressed his strong anticipation that McCarthy “will keep his commitment to the people of Ukraine and secure passage of the support needed to help Ukraine at this critical moment.”

The United States has already extended approximately $75 billion in aid to Ukraine.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) attributed the potential government shutdown to “MAGA extremists.”

Schumer posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, “Today, MAGA extremists have failed, bipartisanship has prevailed and both parties have come together to avert a shutdown. After trying to take our government hostage, MAGA Republicans won nothing. We funded the government and avoided all of the extreme, nasty, harmful cuts MAGA Republicans wanted.”

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