Senate passes stopgap spending bill, avoiding the threat of a shutdown

The Senate voted overwhelmingly to approve a stopgap spending bill ahead of a Friday deadline. The final vote was 87-11.

The House-passed bill now heads to President Biden for his signature.

The unusual legislation funds four federal agencies until Jan. 19, 2024 and the rest until Feb 2, 2024. The goal is to give Congress more time to negotiate long-term spending bills. If that doesn’t happen an across the board spending cut of 1 percent hits all agencies in April. So far the House has passed seven and the Senate has approved three.

House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., chose the approach to appease a group of House conservatives who hoped to use the rolling deadlines to force spending concessions. But those same conservatives that proposed the plan voted against the bill in the House earlier this week because the stop-gap failed to cut spending.

House Republicans have been badly split on spending and their internal bickering is already threatening to derail Johnson’s promise to pass full-year spending bills next year. So far, Republicans have been unable to pass several of their own, entirely partisan spending bills in the past several weeks.

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