Biden signs stop gap measure to keep government open one week

(The Center Square) – President Joe Biden signed a temporary funding measure Friday that will keep the government open roughly one more week while lawmakers work to broker a longer-term deal.

As The Center Square previously reported, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Continuing Resolution with a vote 320-99, sending it to the Senate, which passed it 77-13.

Biden signed the funding measure Friday afternoon, just hours before a partial government shutdown.

The spending measure only delays the shutdown, though, which has two staggered deadlines of March 8 and March 22.

Democrats are insistent on including supplemental funding for Ukraine in its war against Russia while Republicans are demanding action on the border from Biden.

On the border, Biden has called on legislation to be passed, but Republicans say Biden already has the funding and administrative authority to fix the border.

Biden met with Congressional leaders earlier this week and called on lawmakers to keep the government open and pass more military aide for Ukraine and Israel and humanitarian aid for Gaza.

“Every day that House Republicans refuse to hold a vote on the bipartisan National Security Supplemental, the consequences for Ukraine grow more severe,” Biden said in a statement this week.

That foreign aid funding will be a key sticking point in the ongoing negotiations.

“It’s pretty safe to say we all agree we need to avoid a government shutdown,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said during a press conference earlier this week.

“Under no circumstances does anybody want to shut the government down so I think we can stop that drama right here before it emerges,” he added.

Other Republicans, though, seem less willing to keep the government open no matter what.

“I’m not scared of a government shutdown if it’s the price we need to pay to secure our border, get our debt under control, and stop the government from going after my fellow Americans,” Rep. Eric Burlison, R-Mo., wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Whether lawmakers can get a deal across the finish line and resolve the disagreements over Ukraine funding remains to be seen.

“I stand here today again opposing the status quo of more reckless spending in Washington,” Rep. Bob Good, R-Va., who leads the House Freedom Caucus, said from the House floor. “This House is supposedly run by Republicans, and yet here we are continuing to pass the Pelosi-Biden-Schumer spending levels and the policies connected to them, predictably with a majority of Democrat votes.

Good went on to point to the national debt, which is over $34 trillion, a concern Republicans have repeatedly raised. Good’s concerns largely represent those of of the reluctant Republican holdouts, nearly half of the Republican members in the House, who Johnson will need to win over or otherwise cave to Democratic policy demands to pass a year-long spending measure.

“As a matter of fact, I had a Democrat tell me this morning in a private conversation, he likes it when we are in charge because nothing changes, but we get the blame for it because we have the majority,” Good said.