New Delhi: The United States President, Joe Biden, swiftly signed the stopgap bill into law just hours after its passage in the US Congress. This decision has effectively averted a potential government shutdown, ensuring continued funding for federal agencies, as stated by the White House.
President Biden, in a statement, emphasised the importance of maintaining government operations by enacting a law that ensures its functioning for the next 47 days. He urged Congress to promptly pass funding bills for the upcoming fiscal year, underscoring the public’s anticipation for a smoothly operating government.
The US President took to his official handle on X (formerly known as Twitter) to announce the signing of the bill. He stated, “I just signed a law to keep the government open for 47 days. There’s plenty of time to pass Government funding bills for the next fiscal year, and I strongly urge Congress to get to work right away. The American people expect their government to work. Let’s make sure it does.”
I just signed a law to keep the government open for 47 days. There’s plenty of time to pass Government funding bills for the next fiscal year, and I strongly urge Congress to get to work right away.
The American people expect their government to work.
Let’s make sure it does. pic.twitter.com/ffjwUIPWIt
— President Biden (@POTUS) October 1, 2023
Earlier on Saturday, the US Congress successfully approved a government funding bill, securing the operational continuity of federal agencies for the forthcoming 45 days and preventing a potentially costly shutdown.
Notably, the decision is poised to prevent the government from falling off the shutdown cliff, which many lawmakers thought was inevitable after weeks of disagreements within the House GOP conference and between both chambers.
The measure would keep the government funded at current spending levels through November 17. It includes USD 16 billion in disaster relief—matching the figure the White House included in a supplemental request. However, it does not include Ukraine aid or border policy changes, The Hill reported.
A government shutdown happens when Congress does not approve discretionary spending for the upcoming fiscal year, which begins on October 1.
A shutdown affects nearly every corner of the US government, from the delivery of welfare cheques and publishing of national economic data to the operation of federal courts, museums, and national parks.
Notably, this is not the first-ever government shutdown in the US. According to the Bipartisan Policy Center, there have been as many as 14 government shutdowns in the US since 1980. The last shutdown took place in December 2018, when the government did not function for 35 days.