Biden’s Deal Averts The Dreaded Government Shutdown.

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Biden's deal

Biden’s deal; the president received the stopgap funding package just hours before the deadline. On Thursday evening, Biden signed a deal reached earlier in the day by the House and Senate to avert a government shutdown that would have impacted hundreds of thousands of federal workers and wreaked havoc on an economy still reeling from the pandemic, all with only hours left to avert a crisis.

“It addresses the nation’s essential and urgent needs,” the president said in a statement Thursday night, but he noted, “There is still so much more to accomplish.”

In summary

  • President Joe Biden signs a stopgap spending deal that averts a government shutdown and provides billions in disaster relief and Afghan refugees aid.
  • The House passed the stopgap funding package just hours before the deadline, and the Senate followed shortly after.
  • There is no provision to raise the nation’s debt ceiling after Republicans vehemently opposed such an attempt. This is amid a debt ceiling raise that was used to repay previous bipartisan debt.

Biden’s deal constitutes disaster relief and Afghan refugees aid.

Senators rejected a handful of Republican amendments and then approved, 65-35, a temporary funding bill that not only averts a deal shutdown until December 3 but also provides $28.6 billion in disaster aid for states wrecked by extreme weather and $6.3 billion to support Afghan refugees.

Later Thursday afternoon, the House passed the Senate’s version of the stopgap bill, 254-175, only hours before the government technically ran out of money at the end of the day.

Reportedly, the White House, HR 5305 – the Extending Government Funding and Delivering Emergency Assistance Act – “sets up appropriations to Federal agencies for the fiscal year 2022 through December 3.”

There is no debt limit provision in Biden’s deal.

Biden's deal
Biden’s deal

The bill features no provision to raise the nation’s debt ceiling after Republicans vehemently opposed such an attempt.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has maintained that his conference will not join Democrats in raising the borrowing limit – or even speed up their ability to do so alone – noting concerns over the majority party’s intent to approve trillions in new social and climate policy spending. This is amid a debt ceiling raise that was used to repay previous bipartisan debt.

“All along, Republicans argued for a clean continuing resolution devoid of the poison pill of a debt limit raise,” McConnell said. “That is precisely what we will do today.”

He stated the Democrats “accepted reality” by introducing a “clean” continuing resolution to finance the government and that “the same thing will have to happen with the debt limit.”

Schumer stated that Republicans recognize that a government shutdown would be “catastrophic” and “they should appreciate that a national debt default would be even worse.”

According to him, the GOP has spent the last week “solidifying their position as the party of default.”

Biden alluded to the discord in his Thursday evening statement on the continuing resolution, writing that “passing of this bill demonstrates the prospect of bipartisan work and provides time for us to enact longer-term funding to keep our government working and delivering for the American people.”

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has cautioned of “calamity” for the economy and ordinary Americans if the debt limit is not raised by October 18.

Senator Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, noted the irony of Republicans objecting to raising the borrowing limit while voting to approve billions in new spending.

“What is the point if there is no money in the treasury to pay for these items?” Leahy questioned.

McConnell, on his part, chastised Democrats for failing to include funding for Israel’s anti-missile Iron Dome system in their budget proposal. Democrats in the House refused to fund the proposal, and it was ultimately repealed in that chamber. However, most Democrats in both chambers have stated that they plan to pass funding for a critical US ally later this year.

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