The US House of Representative approved a stopgap spending bill on Saturday. The proposed resolution would keep the government open for the next 45 days at the current spending level and adds billions of dollars in funding for US disaster relief but excludes aid to Ukraine despite Biden’s request.
The measure that passed in a 335-91 vote and, if approved by the Senate, would avert the largest government shutdown in history.
The new plan, branded as a ‘clean’ bill by the Republicans, won the support from more Democrats than Republicans, with just one Democrat voting against the short-term funding measure. It will ensure that the federal operations are going at the current spending level, but includes none of the $20 billion funding for Ukraine that President Biden said was necessary.
In a speech on the House floor Saturday, Rep. Michael Lawler (R-N.Y.) urged his colleagues not to allow the government to shut down simply because the bill excludes aid for Ukraine.
“If you’re telling the American people with a straight face you will shut down the American government over Ukraine, then shame on you,” Lawler said.
The continuing resolution bill was sent to the Senate just over 9 hours left before the shutdown deadline, with the House adjourning until Monday afternoon, which means that the lawmakers won’t come back to try something else if the Senate fails to approve the legislation.
With the government shutdown looming at midnight, the Senate will now face immense pressure to pass the House bill even without aid for Ukraine.
The new bill was introduced by the Republicans on Saturday morning, after an earlier plan aimed at steep social spending cuts and tougher border security measures was rejected on Friday.