THE US Senate announced it would vote on a stopgap funding bill Thursday to prevent a government shutdown with just hours to spare, as lawmakers stare down a number of deadlines with massive stakes for the economy and President Joe Biden’s sweeping domestic agenda.
The coming days are expected to be the most critical yet of Biden’s presidency, as he negotiates the tricky passage of two giant spending bills and a fix to lift the debt ceiling without the support of Republicans.
But the most urgent priority is funding for federal agencies, and Senate Democrats say they will pass temporary legislation early Thursday, hours before the money runs out, to keep the lights on until December 3.
The bill, which includes $6.3 billion to help Afghan refugees and $28.6 billion in disaster aid, is expected to have broad cross-party support and should advance from the House of Representatives to Biden’s desk soon after the Senate gives its green light.
“We have agreement on the CR – the continuing resolution – to prevent the government shutdown. And we should be voting on that tomorrow morning,” Chuck Schumer, the party’s leader in the upper chamber, said late Wednesday.
Shutdowns typically mean hundreds of thousands of government employees being sent home as federal services and properties close.
Read our government shutdown live blog for the latest news and updates…