US government shutdown averted hours before deadline as Biden signs bill

WION Web Team
NEW DELHI Published: Oct 01, 2021, 08:11 AM(IST)

US President Joe Biden (file photo). Photograph:( PTI )

Story highlights

Hours ahead of the midnight deadline, the House of Representatives voted to keep the lights on for another two months with a resolution that had already advanced comfortably from the Senate, with opposition Republicans supporting the ruling Democrats in both chambers

US President Joe Biden signed the government funding bill on Thursday, just hours after congressional lawmakers rushed to pass the measure before the shutdown deadline.

Hours ahead of the midnight deadline, the House of Representatives voted to keep the lights on for another two months with a resolution that had already advanced comfortably from the Senate, with opposition Republicans supporting the ruling Democrats in both chambers. 

Biden signed the bill shortly after.

"This is a good outcome, one I'm happy we are getting done," Chuck Schumer, the top Democratic senator, told colleagues on the chamber floor ahead of both votes, which were never in serious doubt. 

"With so many things to take care of here in Washington, the last thing the American people need is for the government to grind to a halt," he said.

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The House voted 254-175 to advance the measure. Just hours earlier, the Senate voted 65-35, in a display of bipartisanship in both chambers.

The Senate-passed bipartisan infrastructure bill is due for a crucial vote in the House on Thursday that appears to have no chance of passing, with the Democrats' left-wing in open revolt.

The progressives do not trust that centrists, who object to the size of the larger spending package, will honour an agreement to pass the legislation once the infrastructure is across the line.

West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin inflamed tensions with a statement arguing that trillions of dollars in extra spending was "fiscal insanity," solidifying opposition to the smaller infrastructure bill.

He told reporters Thursday that he was unwilling to go above $1.5 trillion.

Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that she planned to forge ahead, while White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters, "We're working towards winning a vote tonight. We have several hours left in the day."

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