Funding bill aims to avert US government shutdown

Washington: The US Senate has introduced a short-term funding bill to avert a partial government shutdown that can result in thousands of federal workers losing jobs. 

The bill would keep the government running till November 17 and give Congress more time to agree on a way out of the crisis.

The bipartisan short-term bill was endorsed by both Chuck Schumer, leader of the Democratic Senate, and Mitch McConnell, the Republican minority leader. 

It allocates $6 billion to help Ukraine during the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict and another $6 billion to emergency disaster relief, according to NBC News.

The Senate advanced the shell bill in a vote of 77 to 19 just days ahead of the October 1 deadline. It is aimed at avoiding a crisis that could be caused by a US government shutdown. The Senate might give its final nod to the bill in the coming days. 

However, the bill is likely to face challenges in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives whose members oppose providing additional aid to Ukraine, according to The Guardian.

“We worked together so hard and diligently over the weekend, and we produced a result, I think, that shows that bipartisanship can triumph over extremism,” said Chuck Schumer about crafting the bill before the voting.

“It’s a bridge towards cooperation and away from extremism, which will allow us to keep working to fully fund the federal government and spare families the pain of a shutdown,” he added.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre too highlighted the significance of the bill. “The Senate’s bipartisan continuing resolution will keep the government open, make a down payment on disaster relief, and is an important show of support for Ukraine. House Republicans should join the Senate in doing their job,” she said.

If the Senate package isn’t adopted, thousands of employees could be furloughed disrupting various government services in the US.

Image courtesy of File photo

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