Biden signs key government funding bills into law averting shutdown

Biden signs key government funding bills into law averting shutdown - Politics - News

President Biden Signs Six Government Funding Bills into Law, Averting Potential Shutdown

On Saturday, President Joe Biden signed a package of six government funding bills into law, preventing critical government departments and agencies from facing potential shutdowns for the remainder of the fiscal year. This significant legislative achievement came after months of Congress relying on stopgap measures to stave off closures at the last minute, with lawmakers racing against the clock to meet the Friday night deadline.

Bipartisan Collaboration: A Major Breakthrough

The spending bills, backed by the top Democrats and Republicans in both chambers, marked a significant breakthrough for lawmakers. The White House expressed gratitude towards congressional leaders from both parties for their leadership in bringing the bills to the president’s desk. With agencies preparing to cease operations before Congress passed updated funding legislation, the OMB announced late Friday that normal operations would continue and shutdown preparations had been halted.

What’s Included in the Spending Package?

The package funds a range of departments and agencies, including Agriculture, Commerce, Justice, Veterans Affairs, Energy, Interior, Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, as well as the Food and Drug Administration, military construction, and other federal programs. The legislation supports a multitude of programs and initiatives, from hiring new air traffic controllers and rail safety inspectors to providing medical care and benefits for veterans and advancing science, technology, and research programs to bolster US economic competitiveness, particularly in fields like artificial intelligence.

Democrats’ and Republicans’ Claims of Victory

Both parties have claimed victories in the spending package. Democrats emphasized funding for social safety net programs, such as $7 billion for the WIC program that delivers nutrition assistance for women, infants, and children—an increase of $1 billion from the previous fiscal year. The package also includes funding for rental assistance and other child nutrition programs like the school lunch program.

Republicans, on the other hand, have pointed to spending cuts and policy riders within the legislation. House Speaker Mike Johnson highlighted provisions that forbid the Department of Justice from targeting parents exercising their right to free speech before school boards and blocks the Biden Administration from stripping Second Amendment rights from veterans. Additionally, there are deep cuts to the EPA, ATF, and FBI.

Conservative Opposition

Despite these victories, there have been signs of opposition from conservatives. The hardline House Freedom Caucus took an official stance against the spending package, stating that it “punts on nearly every single Republican policy priority” and “surrenders Republicans’ leverage to force radical Democrats to the table to truly secure the southern border.”

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