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News > World

US House Passes Short-Term Bill to Avoid Government Shutdown

  • Capitol building, Washington DC, U.S., 2022.

    Capitol building, Washington DC, U.S., 2022. | Photo: Twitter/ @CharlesOnwuemen EPA

Published 9 February 2022
Opinion

This is the third time Congress has passed a short-term bill to keep the federal government running since the fiscal year 2022 began on Oct. 1, last year.

The U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday passed a short-term bill to extend federal government funding until March 11 to avoid a government shutdown.

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"The continuing resolution (CR)... is premised on an understanding that the House and Senate Appropriations Committees are close to an agreement on the parameters for an omnibus funding package that will be ready for the House Floor no later than March 8 so that it can be signed by President Joe Biden before this new March 11 deadline," House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said.

Now the CR heads to the Senate, where Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said the chamber will take it up quickly and in time before the current government funding measure runs out on Feb. 18.

This CR provides a little more time to reach a deal for a spending package; it is a path forward that eliminates the risk of a shutdown. This is the third time Congress has passed a short-term bill to keep the federal government running since the fiscal year 2022 began on Oct. 1, last year.

Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, said that the U.S. budget process is "clearly broken" and lawmakers are still operating the government on stop-gap measures. Noting that the national debt heads towards a new record high as a share of the economy in the next decade, she said it's time to target and prioritize spending rather than enacting blanket increases.

"Lawmakers should come together to put our country on more sound fiscal footing. That starts by restoring discretionary spending caps at reasonable and responsible levels, which will both improve fiscal discipline and support a smoother and faster appropriations process," she said.

The U.S. total public debt outstanding exceeded US$30 trillion earlier this year, which included US$23.5 trillion in debt held by the public and US$6.5 trillion in intergovernmental holdings, according to the Treasury Department.

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