WASHINGTON, D.C. – With hours left to spare, Congress and the White House averted a government shutdown. On Thursday, congressional members passed a short-term agreement to keep the government running while negotiations for better border security and aid to our allies continues.
On Friday President Biden signed legislation preventing a government shutdown. The temporary spending bill will fund federal agencies at current spending levels through March 1st and March 8th. It gives members and the White House more time to finalize a deal.
“It was a good vote over 300 votes that was solid,” said Rep. Glenn “GT” Thompson (R- PA).
We caught up with our congressional members following the House floor vote on Thursday. The House voted 314-108. The opposition, which was mostly led by far-right republicans, demanded more spending cuts and immigration policy changes.
“There was no excuse to oppose this because what this did really provide the appropriations committee the bandwidth they need to finish up their appropriations bills,” said Rep. Thompson.
“If we would’ve shut down the government that would’ve been the whole story and I think it would’ve disrupted negotiations and frankly that would’ve been a political victory for our friends on the left,” said Rep. Dan Meuser (R- PA).
Some republicans who voted against the bill, like Michigan’s Representative Jack Bergman (R-MI) said in part: “Until congress gets serious about securing the border- I will not support another dime of federal spending.”
The Biden administration said they’re open to changes to border policy as part of the negotiations.
After passing the short-term funding bill before the weekend, federal spending and policy discussions will continue without the pressure of a government shutdown, for now.
“Well I had a lot of hesitation, I don’t necessarily like the present so-called deal,” said Rep. Meuser. “I think we need more spending cuts and I think we need some extra border security measures. I know that’s being negotiated with the supplemental but the American people want to see us not back down on [inaudible] so I voted to extend it out five weeks just so we can continue negotiating and make the end result improve than what it is today.”