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Congress has passed a short-term spending bill to prevent a partial government shutdown, extending funding for various federal agencies through early to mid-March.

The House and Senate approved the measure with significant bipartisan support, marking the fourth extension in recent months. House Speaker Mike Johnson expressed optimism about completing the annual spending bills, stating, “We’ll get the job done.”

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The legislation passed with a vote of 320-99 in the House and 77-13 in the Senate, showcasing a significant majority in favor of averting a shutdown. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, commenting on the bill’s passage, said, “When we pass this bill, we will have, thank God, avoided a shutdown with all its harmful effects on the American people.”

President Joe Biden also expressed his approval of the congressional action, stating, “It is time for House Republicans to put our national security first and move with urgency to get this bipartisan bill to my desk,” while also noting, “I want to be clear: this is a short-term fix — not a long-term solution.”

This comes as Congress is set to address a package of six spending bills in the upcoming week, aiming to finalize the fiscal year’s budget before the new deadlines. Amidst internal GOP divisions and calls for spending cuts, Rep. Matt Gaetz criticized the current fiscal direction, saying, “Last I checked, the Republicans actually have a majority in the House of Representatives, but you wouldn’t know it if you looked at our checkbook because we are all too willing to continue the policy choices of Joe Biden and the spending levels of Nancy Pelosi.”

Rep. Chuck Fleischmann countered, emphasizing the detrimental effects of a shutdown: “I want the American people to know, Mr. Speaker, that this negotiation has been difficult, but to close the government down at a time like this would hurt people who should not be hurt.”


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