Biden signs short-term government funding bill, averting a shutdown

Washington — President Biden signed a stopgap measure to fund the government through the beginning of March into law on Friday, the White House said, avoiding a partial shutdown as lawmakers continue working to pass a broader spending deal. 

The House and Senate approved the continuing resolution on Thursday in bipartisan votes, sending it to Mr. Biden’s desk. Without the measure, a partial shutdown would have begun Saturday morning.

The legislation extends current-level funding for some federal agencies through March 1, and others through March 8. The government has been operating under a short-term funding extension passed in November, and this was the third stopgap measure Congress has passed since September.

Congressional leaders announced an agreement on yearlong spending levels earlier this month. The continuing resolution was needed to give lawmakers more time to translate the deal into legislative text and shepherd it through both chambers. But a vocal contingent of conservative Republicans in the House oppose the $1.66 trillion agreement and have urged Speaker Mike Johnson to rescind his support.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat, has said his next goal is reaching an agreement on separate national security legislation. Congressional leaders of both parties met with President Biden at the White House this week to discuss funding for Ukraine, Israel and increased border security. Schumer said it was a “very good meeting” and there was a “large amount of agreement” to fund Ukraine and implement immigration reform at the same time.

“Once Congress avoids a shutdown, it is my goal for the Senate to move forward to the national security supplemental as soon as possible,” Schumer tweeted Thursday. “Our national security, our friends abroad, and the future of democracy demands nothing less.”

Caitlin Yilek contributed to this report.

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