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To prevent a shutdown, Biden signs a $460 billion spending package.

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Just hours before a deadline for a government shutdown, President Joe Biden signed a crucial $460 billion budget bill that guaranteed the continuation of operations for several federal agencies. With the passage of the measure, Congress’s work on funding for the 2024 fiscal year advanced significantly.

With support from both parties, the package—which included six annual spending bills—passed the House before ending up on the president’s desk. Biden emphasized that the agreement permits federal agencies to continue operating normally while expressing gratitude to the leaders and negotiators from both parties for their work.

But lawmakers are still working on a second deal that would fund military, with the goal of fully funding all federal departments by March 22.

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer celebrated the bipartisanship while emphasizing the measures that will improve rail safety, air traffic control, federal firefighters’ support, and assistance for homeless veterans. The Senate deliberated over several revisions before passing the bill by a large majority, 75-22.

Sen. Susan Collins beseeched her colleagues to put government financing first, highlighting the recklessness of taking a chance on a shutdown. After months of temporary measures to maintain federal operations during budget deliberations, the spending legislation were passed.

Republicans were successful in maintaining non-defense expenditure essentially unchanged from the previous year, despite the fact that overall discretionary spending for the fiscal year is predicted to reach approximately $1.66 trillion. Most Republican policy riders, such as attempts to limit access to abortion and financing for essential programs like the WIC feeding program, were resisted by Democrats, who won their battles.

Senator Rand Paul criticized the degree of cooperation that resulted in higher spending, while other senators voiced worries about excessive spending notwithstanding deals. However, in a split Congress and with a Democratic-led government, bipartisan support was essential to the bill’s passing.

Republicans have expressed disapproval of the spending bill because it includes more than 6,600 projects that were specifically requested by individual lawmakers. Significant resistance to attempts to remove these projects highlighted the significance of constituent-focused programs in gaining support for larger spending packages.

Although the passing of the spending package is viewed as a step forward, discussions about the wisdom of dividing the financing into two distinct parliamentary bills continue. However, the first package includes essential ministries that guarantee the continuation of essential government operations.

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