Congress passes funding bill to avert government shutdown

By Maureen Chowdhury, Tori B. Powell and Kaanita Iyer, CNN

Updated 0508 GMT (1308 HKT) November 16, 2023
4 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
4:57 p.m. ET, November 15, 2023

White House says Biden would sign funding bill if it passes Senate

From CNN's Arlette Saenz

President Joe Biden walks out of the Oval Office and heads to the South Lawn at the White House in Washington, DC, on Tuesday.
President Joe Biden walks out of the Oval Office and heads to the South Lawn at the White House in Washington, DC, on Tuesday. Susan Walsh/AP

President Joe Biden is prepared to sign the House-approved government funding bill if passed by the Senate, a White House official said Tuesday.

“If it passes the Senate, the President will sign this continuing resolution that maintains current funding levels and has no harmful policy riders,” the official said. 

Beyond the pressing government funding fight, the official also called on House Republicans to abandon “extreme, partisan appropriations bills” and work with Democrats on fully-year appropriations bills. The official went on to call on Congress to pass funding for Israel, Ukraine and border security as well.

“Looking ahead, House Republicans must stop wasting time on extreme, partisan appropriations bills that break the bipartisan agreement two-thirds of them voted for and instead work quickly with Democrats on full-year appropriations bills,” the official said. “Congress must also address urgent national security and domestic needs—including funding for Israel, Ukraine, humanitarian assistance, border security, WIC, and other critical priorities that have bipartisan support.”

4:44 p.m. ET, November 15, 2023

Senate talks underway to finish tonight and head home for Thanksgiving

From CNN's Manu Raju

Several Senate sources say that talks are underway to pass the stop-gap government funding bill tonight and leave town for Thanksgiving, scrapping tomorrow’s session.

Final votes could happen within the next few hours.

4:51 p.m. ET, November 15, 2023

Schumer says Senate could vote on House-passed funding bill "as soon as today"

From CNN's Clare Foran, Kristin Wilson, Morgan Rimmer and Ted Barrett,

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer meets with reporters before speaking to a massive rally in support of Israel, at the Capitol in Washington, DC, on Tuesday.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer meets with reporters before speaking to a massive rally in support of Israel, at the Capitol in Washington, DC, on Tuesday. J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Wednesday that the chamber could vote to pass a stopgap bill to avert a government shutdown “as soon as today.”

If the Senate passes the bill, as expected, the measure would next go to President Joe Biden to be signed into law. Government funding is currently set to expire at the end of the week on Friday, November 17.

Schumer said he will work with Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell “to see if we can come to an agreement to accelerate this bill’s passage.”

“If both sides cooperate, there’s no reason we can’t finish this bill even as soon as today,” he said

Remember: To hold the Senate vote on Wednesday, Democrats and Republicans would have to reach an agreement to expedite the process, which would require unanimous consent from all 100 senators. An objection from any single senator could slow down the timeline.

“No drama, no delay, no government shutdown. That’s our goal. And we hope we have an agreement very soon to avoid a shutdown,” Schumer said.

The House passed the stopgap bill on Tuesday. In the first major test of his leadership, newly elected Speaker Mike Johnson is pursuing an unusual two-step plan that would set up new shutdown deadlines in January and February.

The bill would extend funding until January 19 for priorities including military construction, veterans’ affairs, transportation, housing and the Energy Department. The rest of the government – anything not covered by the first step – would be funded until February 2. The proposal does not include additional aid for Israel or Ukraine.

Senate Minority Whip John Thune of South Dakota expressed optimism on Wednesday that the Senate could pass the spending bill later in the day. “I don’t think there’s any reason why we couldn’t vote today,” he told reporters.

Asked whether any members of his conference are pushing for amendment votes, which could slow down the process, he acknowledged that there is one – Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky – but indicated that won’t significantly delay final passage.

“We’re not seeing anything out there that would suggest that we couldn’t process this fairly quickly,” he said.

5:21 p.m. ET, November 15, 2023

House passed a bill to prevent a government shutdown and now it moves to the Senate. Here's the latest

From CNN's Clare Foran and Haley Talbot

House Speaker Mike Johnson talks with reporters ahead of the debate and vote on supplemental aid to Israel, at the Capitol in Washington, DC, on Thursday, November 2.
House Speaker Mike Johnson talks with reporters ahead of the debate and vote on supplemental aid to Israel, at the Capitol in Washington, DC, on Thursday, November 2. J. Scott Applewhite/AP

The House passed a stopgap bill on Tuesday to keep the government open, putting Congress on a path to avert a shutdown and setting the stage for a broader funding fight in the new year.

The Senate will next need to approve the measure. President Joe Biden is prepared to sign the bill if it is passed by the Senate, a White House official said. Government funding is currently set to expire at the end of the week on Friday, November 17.

The stopgap bill passed the House on a bipartisan basis – 336 votes to 95 – with 209 of the votes coming from Democrats, a warning sign for newly elected House Speaker Mike Johnson.

The bill was opposed by 93 Republicans and two Democrats.

In the first major test of his leadership, Johnson is pursuing an unusual two-step plan that would set up two new shutdown deadlines in January and February.

If you are just reading in, catch up on the latest:

What the bill would do: The bill would extend funding until January 19 for priorities including military construction, veterans’ affairs, transportation, housing and the Energy Department. The rest of the government — anything not covered by the first step — would be funded until February 2. The proposal does not include additional aid for Israel or Ukraine.

The plan would give lawmakers more time to attempt to negotiate and pass full-year spending bills, though major partisan divisions would make that effort fraught and complicated. Johnson has argued that his plan would prevent Congress from passing a massive spending bill in December — a scenario that has played out many times before when lawmakers have faced a deadline right before the winter holidays.

President prepared to sign: President Joe Biden is prepared to sign the House-approved government funding bill if it is passed by the Senate, a White House official said Tuesday.

“If it passes the Senate, the President will sign this continuing resolution that maintains current funding levels and has no harmful policy riders,” the official said.

Read more about the bill.

CNN’s Kristin Wilson, Annie Grayer, Lauren Fox and Arlette Saenz contributed to this report.