The impending federal government shutdown was averted late Saturday after President Joe Biden signed a temporary funding bill that passed with bipartisan majorities in the House and Senate.
The bill, H.R. 5860, is a continuing resolution that will fund the government until Nov. 17.
Notably, the spending bill excludes additional aid to Ukraine — a measure which President Biden decried in a statement Saturday after the bill passed, despite calling the bill “good news for the American people.”
“While the Speaker and the overwhelming majority of Congress have been steadfast in their support for Ukraine, there is no new funding in this agreement to continue that support,” Biden said.
“We cannot under any circumstances allow American support for Ukraine to be interrupted,” the president added. “I fully expect the Speaker will keep his commitment to the people of Ukraine and secure passage of the support needed to help Ukraine at this critical moment.”
The continuing resolution does increase federal disaster assistance by $16 billion to meet a request from the president.
Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.), the co-chair of the Congressional Ukraine Caucus, was the only House Democrat to vote against the temporary funding bill.
The remainder of the 91 “nays” the continuing resolution received in the House came from Republican lawmakers.
The entirety of Maine’s Congressional delegation voted in favor of the continuing resolution.
“I said earlier that the only path to avoid a government shutdown was an agreement like the one I voted for this afternoon,” Democratic Maine Congressman Jared Golden said in a Saturday press release.
“Speaker McCarthy did the right thing for the country by putting this 45-day extension on the House floor so that a strong coalition of Democrats and Republicans could sideline the self-absorbed hardliners that wanted to shut down the government,” Rep. Golden said.
“Congress now has 45 days to negotiate a long-term agreement and I will continue working to support the budget deal that Congress agreed to earlier this summer,” he added.
“For months, there has been a bipartisan path forward to keeping the government open,” Democratic Rep. Chellie Pingree said Saturday. “This stopgap passed with votes from both sides, but nearly half the Republican conference was opposed, and Democrats delivered the votes for enactment.”
“We never should have gotten to the point of being just hours away from a government shutdown,” Rep. Pingree continued. “While this stopgap is by no means perfect, it was necessary to avoid the disastrous impacts that a shutdown would have on our communities.”
Pingree said the the Republicans’ denial of additional funding to Ukraine is “deeply concerning,” and “could have grave consequences for Ukraine’s counteroffensive.”
“Make no mistake: Congress still has a lot of work to do, and House Democrats will not back down in our fight to combat extreme, dangerous, and short-sighted cuts to vital government services, programs, and operations,” she said.
The continuing resolution passed in the Senate with a large bipartisan majority in an 88-9 vote, including “yeas” from Maine Senators King and Collins.
“Today’s vote from Congress will protect and sustain the current government services and operations that every American relies upon – from soldiers and seniors to small businesses and the most vulnerable among us — but it should not have come with so much bad faith and brinksmanship,” said independent Maine Sen. Angus King. “The fact that this 45-day spending bill doesn’t contain the drastic and damaging cuts sought by fringe members is a welcome reality check.”
“Although I would have preferred that the provision providing funding for Ukraine’s fight against Putin’s aggression have remained in the bill, its removal by the House Republicans should not be seen as representing a meaningful shift in the overwhelming bipartisan support for Ukraine — both now and in the future,” Sen. King added.