The U.S. Congress narrowly avoided a government shutdown today, voting in the last hours of the day to pass a new spending bill. The bill will fund the government for another 45 days, and ensures that, among other things, military service members will be paid.
The deal came at the last minute after major fights in the House of Representatives. Ultimately the House approved the bill 335-91 while the U.S. Senate passed it 88-9.
The bill now heads to President Joe Biden to sign.
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If lawmakers had failed to reach an agreement in time, it would have meant that service members would have had to stay on active duty without pay. Parts of military life, such as barracks repairs or some elective medical procedures could have been put on hold in part due to how contractors are paid. Similarly, guards and reservists would have had drills canceled. Thousands of civilians working for the Department of Defense would have been furloughed, which the Pentagon said would have impacted the pace of its operations.
The bill includes $16 billion for disaster relief efforts — coming after the fires in Hawaii and flooding in New York City among other disasters — but does not include any additional funds for Ukraine. Both chambers of Congress plan on taking up a supplemental funding bill that would include aid to Ukraine.
The funding expires on Nov. 17, when a similar fight over the budget can be expected.
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