The U.S. Senate has passed a short-term funding package that would keep the government funded and operating beyond the Sept. 30 deadline. The bill passed by a vote of 83-16. The legislation now goes to the House for consideration.
The bill would fund government operations until Nov. 21 and allow for additional time to negotiate a longer-term spending package for the remainder of fiscal year 2020. The measure was passed with no extra policy add-ons nor other controversial measures included.
The measure puts Congress on an 11 week course to figure out more long term spending priorities and avoid the chaos created by Congress’ chronic inability to agree on funding bills on time. The bill would also avoid a government shutdown and help to provide certainty for servicemembers, veterans, and other government employees.
The measure was supported by both Republicans and Democrats in the Senate, a show of bipartisanship that could play a role in negotiations on future funding packages. The move to pass the short-term measure also takes the threat of a government shutdown off the table, giving negotiators more breathing room.
With the threat of a government shutdown fading, the Senate will now turn its attention to completing the annual spending packages to fund the government operations for the remainder of the fiscal year. It is not yet clear if Democratic and Republican leaders can come to an agreement on spending. However, this bill has provided the necessary breathing room to avert a potential shutdown.