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.