Government Shutdown Averted But U.S. Aid To Ukraine Now In Jeopardy
A shutdown of the federal government was narrowly averted on Saturday as President Joe Biden signed a stopgap plan to keep the government open after Congress hurriedly passed the bill. This bill would ensure that the government remains open until mid-November.
The plan did not include new funding for United States’ assistance to Ukraine, which has been a priority for the Biden administration despite opposition from many Republican lawmakers. It increases federal disaster assistance by $16 billion, fulfilling Biden’s request.
The House Democrats approved the plan despite the fact that it did not include money for Ukraine, which the White House and members of both parties in the Senate had been advocating for.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy risked his own job by relying on Democrats to pass the bill after turbulent days in the House. Following the House’s approval, the Senate also passed the bill, bringing an end to the wave of uncertainty at the Capitol.
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In a statement, Biden welcomed the development, terming it “good news for the American people.” He also expressed the hope that McCarthy would help “secure passage of the support needed to help Ukraine at this critical moment.”
While the shutdown has been averted for now, the crisis may not be fully over yet. Congress will have to fund the government once again in the next few weeks, and the new plan may not be approved as the right-flank lawmakers were snubbed this time in favor of a more bipartisan route.
Ninety Republican lawmakers opposed the plan Saturday, but most supported it. By ditching the conservative holdouts, McCarthy will likely face a motion to oust him from his job.
Speaking about the possibility of his ouster, McCarthy said: “If somebody wants to remove me because I want to be the adult in the room, go ahead and try. But I think this country is too important.”
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