Biden Approves Temporary Spending Bill To Avoid Shutdown

The last-minute budget deal recently approved by President Joe Biden was done to apparently avoid a government shutdown. However, a fiscal tug-of-war has now ensued between the congressional Republicans and the Federal budget.

This development further complicates the ongoing debate about wartime aid being sent to Ukraine and Israel, however, the bipartisan-supported measure went through both the House and Senate earlier this week, garnering wide support to ensure the government remains open during the holidays.

The Biden administration feels it could provide lawmakers with the needed space to work on the significant differences in their perspectives on the current fiscal year government expenditure levels. Yesterday President Biden signed the deal in San Francisco and simultaneously hosted the Asia-Pacific summit, which took place at the Legion of Honor Museum.

The announcement of the signing took place late into the night, thereby underscoring the importance of the budgetary decision. The spending package was designed as a stopgap measure to keep government funding at existing levels for about two months, or until negotiations for a full long-term budget agreement are finalized.

The new legislation introduces a dual-deadline system. Some federal agencies need to meet the deadline by January 19, while others will have until February 2. This creates two separate times when there would be a possibility of a partial government shutdown. Mike Johnson, a newly appointed House Speaker, and Republican, championed this two-pronged strategy.

However, it encountered some resistance in the Senate with all but one Democrat and 10 Republicans voting for the measure. Yet, speaker Johnson made it clear that this temporary funding bill only serves as a prelude to a major fiscal battle with the Senate next year.

In a move that indicates a desire for a more long-term and comprehensive solution, the director insisted that Congress should no longer rely on such stopgap funding measures and continuing resolutions. The White House is also missing in the spending bill as a demand for more than $105 billion to go to Israel and Ukraine is absent.

Further, the law does not address humanitarian funding to Palestinians and other additional requests like border security. After the Thanksgiving holiday, observers are hoping that lawmakers will redirect their energy towards these critical issues, and strike a deal that extends beyond short-term solutions.