Biden signs stopgap funding bill to avert shutdown
President Biden on Friday signed legislation to fund federal government operations in the short term, averting a government shutdown before a midnight deadline.
The continuing resolution Biden signed funds the government through March 15, buying time for a sweeping $1.5 trillion government funding bill to make it to Biden’s desk.
The Senate passed the continuing resolution and the larger appropriations bill, which funds the government through September and includes billions in Ukraine aid, late Thursday, but it takes time for the larger legislation to make its way from Capitol Hill to the White House. Government funding was set to run out after midnight Friday, necessitating the continuing resolution.
Biden is likely to sign the $1.5 trillion appropriations bill next week.
That bill, which passed with bipartisan support in the House on Wednesday and Senate on the following day, was unveiled just this week after months of negotiations.
The 2,741-page bill funds the government through the current fiscal year and includes $13.6 billion in humanitarian and security assistance to address Russia’s ongoing invasion in Ukraine.
However, COVID-19 pandemic funding that the White House had sought for its pandemic response was stripped out of the bill amid a disagreement among House Democrats. The White House has warned that pandemic-related programs will suffer if additional COVID-19 funding is not approved.
“We thank leaders in the House and Senate for their partnership in getting this bill done, and the President looks forward to signing it into law,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement late Thursday.
“At the same time, we continue to call on Congress to provide the funds urgently needed to prevent severe disruptions to our COVID response,” she said.