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Thursday, January 20 2022

North America

Biden signs short-term funding bill to avert govt shutdown

Washington: The US President Joe Biden has signed a short-term funding bill that will keep the federal government running through February 18, 2022, avoiding a looming partial shutdown.

“Funding the government isn’t a great achievement. It’s a bare minimum of what we need to get done,” Xinhua news agency quoted Biden as saying on Friday December 3.

“But in these times, a bipartisan cooperation is worth recognition,” Biden said, urging Congress to use the time this bill provides to work toward a bipartisan agreement on a full-year funding bill.

Both chambers of Congress on Thursday passed the bill to keep the federal government open until mid-February, just one day before the previous government funding was set to expire.

In recent years, lawmakers have been constantly struggling to reach agreement on government spending, and it has been almost a routine to pass some type of stopgap measure during holiday season. In September, the US Congress passed a stopgap measure to fund the government until December 3.

“This is the 25th year in a row that Congress hasn’t passed appropriations bills on time. It’s truly unacceptable that our leaders can’t fulfill this basic function of government,” said Maya MacGuineas, President of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a US watchdog group.

“When they do finally agree on appropriations for this fiscal year, they should do so in the context of extending discretionary budget caps at responsible levels. With inflation high and debt near record levels, the last thing we need is to grease the wheels with even more deficit-financed spending,” MacGuineas said.

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