Congress Prevents United States Government Shutdown Hours Prior to Deadline
On September 30, 2023, the United States government prevented an expensive shutdown of federal agencies by passing legislation to keep the government operating until November 17.
This deal was passed a few hours prior to a midnight headline. It gives Democrats and Republicans time to negotiate longer-term federal funding schemes. This deal doesn’t feature new funding for Ukraine.
“Tonight, bipartisan majorities in the House and Senate voted to keep the government open, preventing an unnecessary crisis that would have inflicted needless pain on millions of hardworking Americans,” Biden declared in a statement.
The final passage by the Senate came about earlier in the day by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, who pushed the compromise at the last minute. McCarthy was largely threatened by populist right-wingers in the House who threatened to remove him from his leadership position if he didn’t kick off a government shutdown.
“If somebody wants to remove me because I want to be the adult in the room, go ahead and try,” McCarthy said to reporters.
The bill was quickly passed through both chambers in less than 12 hours.
This legislation did not feature any of the demands — sharp spending cuts and border security measures — from the populist Right. Altogether, the passage of this legislation was a victory for the Congressional establishment.
“After trying to take our government hostage, MAGA Republicans won nothing,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer declared after the bill’s final passage.
The exclusion of Ukraine aid from the legislation, for the time being, represents a defeat for Ukraine. In the leadup to the bill’s passage, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky held meetings with Biden and elected official and personally begged for new weapons systems, which includes F-16 fighter aircraft and long-range ATACMS missiles.
Biden and other elected officials aimed to reassure Ukraine that the US government is still committed to propping it up in its war effort against russia. The US has doled out $44 billion to Ukraine since Russia launched its invasion on February 24, 2022. The Biden regime has requested an additional $24 billion to replenish accounts that the Defense Department claims are close to being depleted.
“We cannot under any circumstances allow American support for Ukraine to be interrupted,” Biden declared, continuing by noting that McCarthy has pledged to pass a separate Ukraine aid package.
The bill was passed in the Senate on an 88-9 vote count, a few hours after a decisive House vote that counted on the support of roughly all Democrats and over half of Republicans.
The bill featured $16 billion in disaster relief funding but contained no aid for Ukraine. A bipartisan grouping of legislators who back funding for Ukraine claimed that the matter would be handled separately.
Based on recent events in the budgetary talks, there’s no appetite for fiscal conservatism among the political class. The DC uniparty is committed to profligate domestic and defense spending so there’s no real desire among political elites to reverse course.
As a result, millions of Americans will economically suffer.