US News Today (News21USA) – With just hours to spare, House Republicans and Democrats reached a surprise deal Saturday to fund the government and avoid a shutdown that would have inflicted economic pain on millions of American families.
The House voted overwhelmingly bipartisan, 335-91, in favor of a short-term funding bill, known as a continuing resolution, or CR. The bill will now head to the Senate, where lawmakers say they will not object to a quick vote.
The bill would keep the government open for another 45 days if President Joe Biden signs it into law. And it will buy more time for the House and Senate to finalize more comprehensive funding legislation.
The surprising deal came after Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., reversed course and introduced on the floor a so-called 45-day “clean” CR, with billions in disaster aid but none of the new aid. to Ukraine in a separate Senate. agreement, after insisting for days that any short-term funding bill would have to include deep spending cuts and tough border security measures.
Introducing a clean bill, McCarthy challenged Democrats to vote against it and shut down the government. Democrats raised objections to the lack of aid to Ukraine and complained bitterly that they had not had time to read the 71-page bill, and that leaders were dragging their feet by using procedural tactics and making long speeches.
“We are on the verge of a government shutdown. And at the last minute legislation is dropped on the American people,” Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., said in a 52-minute speech. “And we’re told we have 5 or 10 minutes to evaluate legislation that’s over 70 pages long and we’re expected to just take the word of our extreme MAGA Republican colleagues.”
But in the end, it was a good enough deal for the vast majority of Democrats to accept. And in the final minutes before the vote, Jeffries.
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“Let’s be clear: This is neither a perfect deal nor a permanent solution, but New Democrats are dedicated to preventing a shutdown and protecting our economy,” New Democrat Coalition Chairwoman Annie Kuster, D-N.Y., said in a statement. Hampshire. “We support this measure to end this immediate crisis, we continue to call for additional funding to support Ukraine in its fight for democracy, and we will work tirelessly to ensure they have the assistance necessary to win this war.”
McCarthy’s bold decision now raises another critical question: What will it mean for his political future?
The speaker’s chief enemy, Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., has been threatening for weeks to unseat McCarthy if he brought a CR to the floor, especially one that depended on Democratic votes to pass. Now that McCarthy has done it, all eyes are on Gaetz to see if he will make good on his threat.
Gaetz, a conservative bomb-thrower and top ally of former President Donald Trump, had said he would introduce an override motion or a vote to unseat McCarthy. After the CR vote passed, Gaetz tried to get the president’s attention, but the House adjourned before he could.
Earlier on Saturday, Republican leaders had admitted in a closed-door meeting that they lacked the support to approve a last-minute funding deal to avoid a shutdown that would inflict economic pain on millions of American families a closure.
Many despondent lawmakers said a shutdown — which would suspend paychecks for the country’s 4 million military service members and other federal workers, close federal parks and monuments and disrupt feeding and education programs for low-income children — was almost inevitable.
Just hours later, McCarthy announced that he would bring the 45-day CR to the floor, hoping to gain bipartisan support and daring Gaetz and other conservative critics to try to impeach him for “being the adult in the room.”