- Biden signed a continuing resolution Thursday that barely averted a government shutdown.
- The legislation keeps the government’s doors open through December 3.
- But it does nothing to resolve a debt-limit standoff that’s pushing the US to the brink of default.
President Joe Biden signed a continuing resolution on Thursday that keeps the US government funded until December 3, only hours before the shutdown deadline. Congress cleared the measure earlier on Thursday.
The short-term “continuing resolution” passed the Senate in a 65-35 vote, and the House later approved it in a 254-175 vote. Only 34 House Republicans joined every House Democrat in voting for the measure.
The bill also includes $28 billion in disaster-aid funding for communities ravaged by a recent pair of hurricanes, along with aid to resettle Afghan refugees in the US. But it does nothing to break a deadlock on the debt ceiling, initiated by Republicans, that is pushing the US closer to default.
“This is a good outcome,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a floor speech before the vote.
“The last thing that Americans need is for the government to grind to a halt,” he said.
Yet the bill excluded a debt-limit hike that Republicans rejected on Monday as they stepped up their drive to undercut Biden’s multitrillion-dollar economic agenda.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell again said on Thursday that Democrats would have to approve an increase in the nation’s borrowing cap unilaterally through reconciliation. That requires only a simple-majority vote, but the arduous process contains procedural hurdles that Democrats may not be able to clear by December 3.
Now the US is only 18 days away from a default that could affect every part of the economy, from delayed Social Security checks, missed payments for US troops and federal workers, and cuts to unemployment insurance and Medicaid.