Biden signs a bill to prevent a government shutdown for the time being, as aid to Israel and Ukraine continues to stall

(Godofredo A. Vsquez / Associated Press)

Biden signs a bill to prevent a government shutdown for the time being, as aid to Israel and Ukraine continues to stall


November 17, 2023



Biden signed a temporary spending bill a day before a possible government shutdown, bringing a fight with Republicans in Congress over the federal budget into the new year as war aid to Ukraine and Israel remains stalled.

The measure passed the House and Senate this week by wide bipartisan margins, keeping the government open until after the holidays and potentially giving lawmakers more time to resolve their significant disagreements over the level of government spending for the current fiscal year to solve. Biden signed the bill Thursday in San Francisco, where he was hosting the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit.

News of the signing came late at night. The President signed the bill at the Legion of Honor Museum, where he held a dinner for APEC members.

The spending package will keep government funding at current levels for about two more months while a long-term package is negotiated. It divides the deadlines for passing budget bills for an entire year into two dates: January 19 for some federal agencies and February 2 for others, creating two dates when there is a risk of a partial government shutdown.

The two-step approach was championed by the new Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mike Johnson


Republican, and was not favored by many in the Senate, although all but one Democrat and 10 Republicans supported it because it would keep the government from shutting down for a while.

Johnson has vowed not to back any further emergency funding measures, known as continuing resolutions. He portrayed the stopgap funding bill as the basis for a spending fight with the Senate next year.

The spending bill does not include the White House’s nearly $106 billion request for wartime aid to Israel and Ukraine. It also does not provide humanitarian funding for Palestinians and other additional requests, including money for border security. Lawmakers will likely turn their attention more fully to that request after the Thanksgiving holiday in hopes of reaching an agreement.


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