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Senate passes temporary bill to avoid government shutdown

On Tuesday, the Senate passed a bill to avoid a government shutdown on Oct. 1

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Sun shines on the U.S. Capitol dome in Washington.

Sun shines on the U.S. Capitol dome in Washington, Aug. 12, 2022.

Patrick Semansky, Associated Press

On Tuesday night, the U.S. Senate passed a stopgap bill in order to avoid a government shutdown this weekend, funding the government through Dec. 16. The bill still has legislative steps to go through before it passes, but the Senate’s 72-23 vote shows that it may have the bipartisan backing it will need to become law, according to Reuters.

What’s in the bill? The Democrats’ short-term — or stopgap — bill was only passed after Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., removed his proposal that would have made it more difficult for states to block projects, such as pipelines, from running through their waters, per The Hill.

  • Bloomberg reports that the bill contains $12.4 billion in aid for Ukraine in its war efforts against Russia. It would also permit the White House to send up to $3.7 billion worth of U.S. defense equipment.
  • The bill also includes $2 billion to attend to unmet needs in recent natural disasters, along with $1 billion to aid in heating U.S. homes.
  • If this legislation is passed, the Food and Drug Administration will be allowed to collect user fees for up to five years, in an attempt to gain more funding.
  • The budget also includes money to assist Afghan refugees in resettlement but does not provide a path to residency, Bloomberg states.

What is a stopgap bill? Stopgap is another word for temporary.

  • By U.S. law, if a government spending bill is not agreed on by the start of the fiscal year on Oct. 1, there will be a government shutdown, due to the fact that no funding plan was agreed upon.
  • In order to avoid a shutdown, the branches of government come to an agreement on a temporary budget, until something better can be agreed upon in the future.
  • The language of this current bill will keep the government funded until Dec. 16.