The United States Congress approved extremis on Saturday to keep the government operating for 45 days and avoid a costly shutdown, although the agreement does not include the aid to Ukraine requested by President Joe Biden.
Three hours before midnight on Saturday, the deadline for blocking the government due to lack of funds, the Senate approved the continuation of the operation of the administration until mid-November with a resolution approved a few hours before still the House of Representatives.
The solution came after Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy made a last-ditch attempt to avoid the paralysis that endangers everything from military food operations to the help of federal policymaking.
“Bipartisan majorities in the House and Senate voted tonight to keep the government open, avoiding an unnecessary crisis that would inflict unnecessary pain on millions of hard-working Americans,” Biden said in a statement.
However, he chastised Republicans for ignoring spending deals agreed months ago and, furthermore, for not including military aid to Ukraine.
“I fully expect the Speaker (of the House of Representatives) to continue his commitment to the people of Ukraine and ensure the approval of the support needed to help Ukraine at this critical time,” Biden said in a statement.
The measure approved on McCarthy’s initiative and known as the “stopgap” allows the government to be funded for 45 more days, but without any aid for Ukraine, a major point of contention for those Democratic.
Lawmakers must now discuss a separate bill on the $24 billion in military aid to Ukraine that Biden wants to include in the budget, with a vote likely to take place as early as next week, media outlets reported.
“I think there is real frustration across America that this president is not paying attention to America’s border and is more concerned elsewhere,” McCarthy said, referring to what Republicans call “America’s immigration crisis. “
Ukraine in balance
Aware of the political problems of his great American ally, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky went to Congress last week to try to convince Washington to help him cross the “finish line” before the Russia.
Some of the Trumpist Republicans refuse to open any new aid to kyiv because the funds should go to the immigration crisis in the US.
Those lieutenants of Donald Trump, who have disproportionate power due to the very thin Republican majority in the House of Representatives, have already brought the United States to the brink of a political and financial cliff four months ago by raising the ceiling in debt.
“Closing” in 2018
Elected at the cost of many negotiations with the Trumpists, McCarthy risked his seat.
“You know what? If I have to risk my job to protect the American people, I’m going to do it,” he said early Saturday in between speeches. And he added: “If someone wants to remove me (…) let them try.”
During Trump’s presidency, the United States experienced the longest “shutdown” (shutdown of the federal government) in 2018. According to various estimates, the US GDP lost more than $3 billion.
A few hours before the deadline, the United States is preparing for a new shutdown of public services. Officials were briefed Thursday on the upcoming situation.
Most of America’s national parks, such as Yosemite or Yellowstone, will remain closed. Severe disruption to air traffic is also expected.
Likewise, food aid beneficiaries can also be disadvantaged.
Each week that the federal government is paralyzed costs the US GDP 0.2 points of growth in the fourth quarter, according to economists at Goldman Sachs.