- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 30, 2021

President Biden signed into law Thursday evening a short-term funding bill that will keep the federal government open through early December and avert a shutdown just hours before the funding was ready to expire.

The stopgap bill, known as a continuing resolution passed in the Senate in a 65-35 bipartisan vote. It then cleared the House by a vote of 254 to 175.

Mr. Biden signed the bill into law in the Oval Office early Thursday evening ahead of the midnight deadline to avoid a shutdown.

In a statement, Mr. Biden thanked lawmakers in both chambers for their willingness to work together to reach an agreement. 

“The passage of this bill reminds us that bipartisan work is possible and it gives us time to pass longer-term funding to keep our government running and delivering for the American people,” the statement said.

But as lawmakers breathed a sigh of relief over averting a shutdown, the Democratic-run Congress still must address the debt limit by Oct. 18, when Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said the government will run out of money to pay the country’s obligations.

The short-term funding bill passed after Senate Republicans had blocked legislation earlier in the week that paired the temporary funding with a suspension of the debt limit. GOP lawmakers say they refuse to help allow more borrowing ahead of Mr. Biden’s more than $4 trillion in new spending.

The move left Democrats scrambling to introduce a “clean” bill to fund the government ahead of the quickly approaching deadline.

Funds for resettling Afghan refugees and hurricane relief were included in the stopgap measure.

Had the funding for the government expired, scores of federal workers would have been furloughed and federal services would have been disrupted or suspended.

Joseph Clark contributed to this article.

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