The U.S. Congress passed a stopgap funding bill late on Saturday with overwhelming Democratic support after Republican Speaker Kevin McCarthy backed down from an earlier demand by his party’s hardliners for a partisan bill. The measure was passed to avoid the federal government’s fourth partial shutdown in a decade, with the Senate voting 88-9 in favor. The bill now awaits President Joe Biden’s signature before the deadline. McCarthy’s decision to abandon the demand for a partisan bill marks a shift and may even jeopardize his leadership role if a far-right member decides to oust him.
Earlier in the week, a government shutdown appeared to be imminent, but the funding bill was ultimately supported by a larger number of Democrats than Republicans. A government shutdown would result in millions of federal employees not receiving payment and the closure of various federal services. However, with the passing of the funding bill, the American people can avoid this situation. Democrats have hailed the bill as a win, stating that extreme MAGA Republicans have lost while the American people have won. In addition to averting a shutdown, Democrats are pleased that a bipartisan vote was finally allowed.
Although there were concerns about McCarthy’s decision potentially leading to his removal as leader, he remains confident in his stance and is willing to risk his job for the sake of the American public. McCarthy has stated that House Republicans will continue to pursue funding bills aimed at cutting spending and implementing conservative priorities, such as tighter border controls. It is worth noting that this funding fight represents a small portion of the overall U.S. budget for this fiscal year, and popular benefit programs like Social Security and Medicare will not be affected. The resolution of this funding dispute comes just months after Congress narrowly avoided defaulting on the country’s debt, causing concerns about U.S. creditworthiness in Wall Street.