With only hours to spare, Congress passed legislation that would avoid a partial federal shutdown and keep the government funded through Dec. 3, and sent the bill to President Joe Biden.
The back-to-back votes by the Senate and then the House will help avert one crisis, but just delay another as the political parties dig in on a dispute over how to raise the government’s borrowing cap before the United States risks a potentially catastrophic default.
The House approved the short-term funding measure by a 254-175 vote not long after Senate passage in a 65-35 vote. A large majority of Republicans in both chambers voted against it. The legislation was needed to keep the government running once the current budget year ended at midnight Thursday. Passage will buy lawmakers more time to craft the spending measures that will fund federal agencies and the programs they administer.
The work to keep the government open and running served as the backdrop during a chaotic day for Democrats as they struggled to get Biden’s top domestic priorities over the finish line, including a bipartisan $1 trillion infrastructure bill at risk of stalling in the House.