The United States Congress has approved a temporary funding package, pushing the chance of a government shutdown into next year. According to AP News, the package was approved by Congress on Wednesday, November 15.
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More Details Regarding The Looming Government Shutdown
According to NBC4 Washington, a government shutdown occurs when “Congress fails to approve the funding bills” or “appropriation bills.” These bills allocate money to “different parts of the federal government” so that they can function.
The outlet adds that lawmakers are supposed to pass 12 bills to fund various government agencies. Then, the bills need to be signed by the president. In this current case, the bills would have needed to be signed on or before Friday, November 17, 2023.
However, NBC4 Washington reports that so far this year, the House has passed seven funding bills while the Senate has passed three. According to CBS News, none of the bills were passed by both chambers.
This undecided funding would have allowed for the possibility of a government shutdown to go into effect at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, November 18, 2023.
The outlet adds that the effects of a government shutdown would be “felt around the country.” Furthermore, millions of federal workers would face delays in receiving their paychecks. Some, such as TSA officers or postal workers, could have their jobs interrupted or hours “shortened.”
The outlet notes that all “nonessential work” by federal employees and the disbursement of their paychecks can be stopped “as long as the shutdown lasts.”
More Information Regarding Congress & The Temporary Funding Package
According to NBC4 Washington, the House proposed a temporary funding package on Tuesday, November 14. The package was then approved by the Senate the following evening.
“Making sure that government stays in operation is a matter of conscience for all of us. We owe that to the American people,” House Speaker Mike Johnson reportedly said to reports on Tuesday, per NBC4 Washington.
CBS News reports that the temporary funding package lays out funding for “veterans programs, transportation, housing, agriculture and energy” until January 19, 2023. Furthermore, the package also lays out funding for “eight other appropriations bills, including defense,” through February 2, 2023.
The outlet notes that the package does not include “supplemental funding for Israel or Ukraine.”
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President Biden is expected to sign the package on Friday, November 17.
What Will Happen Next Year?
According to AP News, if funding is not agreed upon by January 19, 2023, and February 2, 2023, the two new “deadlines” pose a “risk of a partial government shutdown.”
NBC4 Washington reports that it’s unclear how long a shutdown can last. The outcome ultimately lies with “how quickly Congress can pass funding bills.”
The outlet notes that the last time a government shutdown occurred was between December 21, 2018, and January 25, 2019. The shutdown lasted 34 days. Additionally, it was the “longest government shutdown” in United States history.
We should note that Wednesday’s decision is not the first time the government has narrowly avoided a shutdown this year. NBC4 Washington reports that Congress previously passed a “47-day continuing resolution” on September 30, 2023.
This essentially allowed the matter to resurface for this recent decision.