US House passes short-term funding bill to avert government shutdown

© Elizabeth Frantz, Reuters

The US House of Representatives on Tuesday passed a temporary spending bill that would avert a government shutdown, as wide swaths of lawmakers from both parties showed support for the legislation.

The legislation, which would extend government funding through mid-January, now heads to the Senate, where Democratic and Republican leaders have voiced support.

To prevent a shutdown, the Senate and Republican-controlled House must enact legislation that President Joe Biden can sign into law before current funding for federal agencies expires at midnight on Friday.

The 336-95 vote was a victory for House Speaker Mike Johnson, who faced down opposition from some of his fellow Republicans, in the first consequential vote of his tenure.

Johnson was elected to the post less than three weeks ago, following weeks of tumult that left the chamber without a leader. With a slim 221-213 majority, he can afford to lose no more than three Republican votes on legislation that Democrats oppose.

The stopgap spending bill would extend government funding at current levels into 2024, giving lawmakers more time to craft the detailed spending bills that cover everything from the military to scientific research.

Some Republicans on the party's right flank said they were frustrated that it did not include the steep spending cuts and border-security measures they sought.

The bill passed with 209 Democratic and 127 Republican votes, while 93 Republicans and two Democrats voted against it.

But hardline conservatives said they were not turning against Johnson. "We don't support it. But we do support him," said Representative Bob Good.

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