President Biden needs to sign the legislation before the deadline of Friday midnight to avoid any lapse in federal government funding.
On Thursday, the U.S. House of Representatives approved a short-term spending bill that would keep federal agencies running through February, averting a partial shutdown just a day before government funding is set to expire.
The Democrats-held lower chamber approved the bill by a vote of 221-212. The measure now heads to the Senate, where a group of Republicans have threatened to delay the passage of the bill. U.S. President Joe Biden needs to sign the legislation before the deadline of Friday midnight to avoid any lapse in federal government funding, which leaves senators just a few hours to bridge their differences.
In September, the U.S. Congress already passed a stopgap measure to fund the government until Dec. 3. In recent years, lawmakers have been constantly struggling to reach agreement on government spending, and it has been almost a routine to pass some type of stopgap measure during holiday season.
"This is the 25th year in a row that Congress hasn't passed appropriations bills on time. It's truly unacceptable that our leaders can't fulfill this basic function of government. With inflation high and debt near record levels, the last thing we need is to grease the wheels with even more deficit-financed spending," said the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a U.S. watchdog group.
����A US government shutdown is averted.— Althea Spinozzi (@Altheaspinozzi) December 3, 2021
T-Bills yields dropped. However, they persist well above the RRP rate throughout the second half of December, signaling that fears over a debt ceiling crisis remain.@saxomarketcall pic.twitter.com/MAPkgJBIe9
The last-minute decision made by the House, however, lessens but does not eliminate the possibility of a fiscal crisis. The Biden administration could run out of money on Dec. 15.
"There are scenarios in which Treasury would be left with insufficient remaining resources to continue to finance the operations of the U.S. Government beyond this date," Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen Yellen in a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, as reported by CNN.
"Congress faces another urgent deadline right on the heels of this one. The federal government is approaching its US$28.9 trillion borrowing limit, which the Treasury Department has estimated it could reach by Dec. 15. Failure to extend or lift the limit in time could trigger an economically catastrophic default," Reuters explained.