The recent efforts to prevent a shutdown of American federal institutions have proven successful, as Democrats overwhelmingly supported a Republican proposal to maintain federal funding for 45 more days, even if it means freezing aid to Ukraine.
In a last-minute move, the US House of Representatives adopted an emergency funding measure crucial to avoid a federal government shutdown just hours before the deadline.
The temporary proposal, approved by the House with a majority of 335 votes to 91, came from Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy just hours before the midnight deadline. This measure would have forced millions of federal employees and military personnel to either stay home or work without pay.
The Senate, controlled by Democrats, still needs to approve the bill.
A government official was quoted by CNN as saying that the White House is likely to support the legislation to keep federal institutions running, with expectations that aid to Ukraine could be resumed later.
The shutdown crisis was largely triggered by a small group of hardline Republicans who defied their party’s leadership in their push for significant spending cuts.
Saturday’s agreement may lead to McCarthy’s removal from his position after he was threatened with ousting by hardliners if the temporary measure they opposed was passed.
In his recent pitch for the proposal, McCarthy urged both Republicans and Democrats to “put their partisanship aside” and rejected the threat of his removal, saying, “If someone wants to fire me because I want to be the adult in the room, then go ahead and try.”
The proposed plan would keep government funding at current levels, without the spending cuts sought by Republican hardliners, which Democrats considered non-negotiable. However, the halt in aid to Ukraine poses a challenge for Democrats.
Arming and funding Ukraine in its war against the Russian invasion has been a cornerstone of President Joe Biden’s administration, and while this gap is temporary, it raises questions about the resumption of billion-dollar aid disbursements to Kyiv.
The Democratic-controlled Senate was prepared to vote on another temporary bill later on Saturday, one that includes continuing support for Ukraine.