The U.S. House of Representatives approved a 45-day stop-gap bill to prevent a government shutdown temporarily. Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) managed to get enough bipartisan votes before the deadline.
The bill was sent to the Senate just hours before the government closed. However, getting the legislation through the Senate and to President Joe Biden for his signature was not an easy task. Ultimately, Biden signed the stop-gap shutdown bill at 11:45 pm ET — only 15 minutes to spare.
While there is some relief that McCarthy finally did his job, the threat of the government shutting down should have never happened.
The Speaker and President Biden negotiated the debt ceiling in May 2023.
Shortly thereafter, House lawmakers overwhelmingly passed the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023 on a 314-117 vote.
A 45-day bandage to avoid a government shutdown does not ease the nation’s concerns about the extremist MAGA Republicans and former President Donald Trump, who is still calling the shots for at least a handful of House members.
If McCarthy had wrangled the radical Trumpers into agreeing with a sensible budget package, the surrounding chaos would have never occurred.
Shutdown Chaos Upset Most Americans
Most Americans are fed up with the House’s chaos caucus. Their antics have stalled legislation from being discussed, let alone a recorded vote.
Instead of securing American’s well-being, they have wasted time with senseless Committee hearings that end up with heated debates between MAGA Republicans and Democrats.
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Florida) threatened to expel McCarthy from his Speakership if he disagreed with the radicals in their caucus. Gaetz assured the Speaker that if the Democrats in the Chamber helped to pass the bill, he would be removed.
Today, October 1, 2023, the headlines should include news of negotiation for passing a budget. House members have less than 45 days to pass an actual budget. However, Gaetz is vowing to oust McCarthy.
Removing the Speaker will be quite interesting since House Republicans have no one to replace him.
During today’s interview with CNN, the Florida Representative told Jake Tapper, “Speaker McCarthy made an agreement with House conservatives in January, and since then, he’s been brazen, repeated material in breach of that agreement.”
Gaetz continued, “This agreement that he made with Democrats to really blow past a lot of the spending guardrails we set up is a last straw.”
Furthermore, “I intend to file a motion to vacate against Speaker McCarthy this week. I think we need to rip off the Band-Aid. I think we need to move on with new leadership that will be trustworthy.”
Therefore, instead of fixing the budget problem, the so-called Freedom Caucus that takes orders from the former president will waste valuable time with their infighting and bickering. And sensible House Republicans will be left scurrying to appease their constituents.
Critical Funding Not Included in Stop-Gap Bill
The emergency spending bill did not provide essential funding for Ukraine’s war against Russia.
President Biden criticized the House for omitting financial aid for Ukraine’s war against Putin in the shutdown stop-gap bill.
He told The Washington Post: “We cannot under any circumstances allow American support for Ukraine to be interrupted.”
Moreover, he continued: “I fully expect the Speaker will keep his commitment to the people of Ukraine and secure passage of the support needed to help Ukraine at this critical moment.”
The Washington Post also wrote that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s advisor, Andriy Yermark, affirmed his confidence in the United States’ assistance before the shutdown vote on Saturday.
Resources and bipartisan support exist for the war-torn country fighting to remain free of Russian control.
While the United States can continue meeting Ukraine’s needs for a short time, the Department of Defense (DOD) has exhausted much of its assistance funding for the war-torn nation.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) released a statement supporting “Ukraine’s efforts to defend its sovereignty against [Russian President Vladimir] Putin’s brazen aggression.” Furthermore, the U.S. will continue “to provide critical and sustained security and economic support for Ukraine.”
Written by Cathy Milne-Ware
NBC News: Highlights: Congress passes bill to keep the government open, averting a shutdown
CBS News: Congress passes 45-day funding bill to avert government shutdown
Politico: Shutdown averted, White House prepares to fight for Ukraine aid; By Jennifer Haberkorn, Jonathan Lemire, and Sam Stein
CNN: Matt Gaetz says he will attempt to oust Kevin McCarthy from the Speakership this week; By Aileen Graef
The Washington Post: Biden presses for Ukraine aid after Congress leaves it out of last-minute funding bill; By Kelly Kasulis Cho, Leo Sands, and Nick Parker
Featured and Top Image by Andy Feliciotti Courtesy of Unsplash
First Inset Image by Shota James Courtesy of Unsplash
Second Inset Image by Michael Buholzer for World Economic Forum Courtesy of Flickr – Creative Commons License
Third Inset Image by Gage Skidmore Courtesy of Flickr – Creative Commons License
Fourth Inset Image by Alisdare Hickson Courtesy of Flickr – Creative Commons License
Fifth Inset Image by Mikhail Volkov Courtesy of Unsplash