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Biden signs short-term funding bill, preventing government shutdown, setting stage for potential fiscal battles

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President Biden has officially signed a short-term funding bill, securing the government’s operations until early 2024 just ahead of the impending Friday night deadline.

The bipartisan measure, known as a continuing resolution, prolongs funding for key departments such as Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, Energy, and Veterans Affairs until January 19. Other government entities will remain funded through February 2.

The signing took place in San Francisco, where President Biden was attending the Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit. Amid meetings with leaders like Chinese President Xi Jinping, he signed the bill at the Legion of Honor Museum during a dinner for APEC members. The bill itself was flown to California for the president’s signature, emphasizing the urgency of the situation.

This move follows the House and Senate’s approval of the short-term solution earlier in the week. While the Senate passed it with an 87-11 vote, only one Democratic senator, Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado, dissented. In the House, the bill passed 336 to 95, revealing a greater Democratic support compared to Republicans.

The legislation not only averts a government shutdown but also sets the stage for potential fiscal battles in the coming months. Although the measure eases the holiday calendar for Congress, historically marked by contentious funding debates around Christmas and Hanukkah, it raises the specter of an election-year funding dispute if a long-term agreement remains elusive in December.

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