Biden Avoids Shutdown By Signing Temporary Spending Bill

President Biden signed a temporary spending bill one day before a government shutdown was to go into effect. The temporary spending bill pushes the fight into the new year and leaves wartime aid to Ukraine and Israel unresolved.

New House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) championed the bill that received broad bipartisan support in both the House and Senate, but the new spending bill is a little different than what has been seen in the past. Johnson believes it is the best way to “fight for conservative victories” in the future.

According to the New York Post, the bill “splits the deadlines for passing full-year appropriations bills into two dates: Jan. 19 for some federal agencies and Feb. 2 for others, creating two dates when there will be a risk of a partial government shutdown.”

The creation of two separate deadlines for two separate appropriation bills creates two dates when partial government shutdowns could take place. Even if the House and Senate agree to a full-year deal in January, another fight looms less than a month later.

After multiple stopgap spending bills, the last one being signed on October 1, Johnson has vowed he will not support another. If a full-year appropriation bill cannot be agreed on in 2024, Johnson and House Republicans seem ready to allow a government shutdown.

The reason that this bill was passed was to avert a government shutdown, but not everybody was happy with the new Speaker’s plan.

“You know, I wanted to give a little time to get all this going. I get it. It’s difficult,” said Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX). “But, you know, for the same reasons that I opposed the CR on 1 October, I oppose the CR that Speaker Johnson is putting forward because it continues to perpetuate the very system my constituents sent me here to oppose.”

House Democrats sang a different tune, not necessarily because they agreed with the bill, but also because they did not have another choice.

“Obviously, the Republican-led House needed Democratic votes to avoid a shutdown, and I was pleased to see that the speaker was willing to work with Democrats and resisted the siren song of the hard right in the House,” Schumer said to reporters. “And if that continues, we can avoid further shutdowns and finish the work of funding the government.”

No matter what each party feels about the bill, the government shutdown has been averted for the next two months, and negotiations for a full-year appropriations bill can resume. Both sides, as Johnson tweeted, should be ready for a fight.