WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden on Friday signed a two-party bill to extend state funding for three weeks to give Congress more time to reach an overdue deal to fund federal agencies by the end of the fiscal year, the White House said.
The Senate approved the measure Thursday with a two-party vote of 65-27, five more than the required 60 votes, after the House of Representatives easily passed legislation last week. Each party concluded that opening the election year would be politically detrimental, especially during a pandemic and confrontation with Russia over its possible invasion of Ukraine.
Both sides hope that the short-term measure will be the last necessary, as the negotiators are developing compromise accounts for financial agencies by September 30. Since the government’s fiscal year began Oct. 1 last year, federal agencies have been working at the level of spending approved in the last weeks of Donald Trump’s presidency.
The new spending bills will be bipartisan compromises, but will allow Biden and Democrats who control Congress to give more imprint to spending priorities. It is expected that they will also provide the increased protection that the Republican government wants.
In recent decades, Congress has usually finished working with a budget for months late. Preventing shutdowns caused by guerrilla scoring was an achievement, not a given.
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