The United States Congress approved on December 2, yesterday evening, a temporary budget to avoid the paralysis of the country’s federal services.
With 69 votes in favor and 28 against, the Senate approved a law that extends the current budget until February 18. The measure had been approved just hours earlier in the House of Representatives.
It is now incumbent on President Joe Biden to enact it before midnight on Friday to avoid a sudden cut in federal funding.
The measure is intended to prevent a paralysis or shutdown of federal public services early on Saturday.
There were resistances
Still a few hours before its vote in the Upper House, several Republican legislators threatened to block the initiative as a protest against the mandatory nature of vaccines in some sectors, such as large companies, decided by the Joe Biden government, although it has not yet entered into force.
The approval of the new plan prevents a sudden cut in federal public funds, which would force thousands of employees to go into technical unemployment, that is, they are still hired but not working.
In addition, national parks, museums and many public bodies would be affected.
The winter shutdown of 2018 was the longest in the country’s history and affected, for example, baggage control at airports, something that most legislators do not want to provoke before the holidays.
Trump allies rejected the deal
A handful of Republican MPs, most close to former President Donald Trump, refused to endorse a new budget law.
However, the White House urged them to approve this text without delay.
“We will not paralyze the government,” Senate Republican Party chief Mitch McConnell said on Fox News late Thursday.
However, he expressed his rejection of the vaccination measure.
Debt, Army and daycare
Legislators have solved this task for now, but they still have other unfinished business.
In addition to the budget law, legislators must agree to financing for defense, an area where consensus is a long way off.
But even more urgent is to reach a consensus to avoid falling into default or default.
Between now and December 15, they must raise or suspend the US debt limit if they want to avoid the first sovereign default in the history of the world’s largest economy.
Without an agreement on this point, the United States could run out of money to service its debts, a potentially catastrophic situation for the markets.
If Congress manages to resolve all of these issues in time, it could then take up the debate related to the massive $ 1.75 trillion Biden-promoted social and environmental investment plan.
The plan, which provides free childcare for all children and investments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the country, has been in Congress for months.
Biden is counting on these measures, popular with Americans, to reinvigorate his presidency.
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