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Biden signs $1.2 trillion funding bill

President Joe Biden signed the $1.2 trillion spending bill hours after Congress sent the legislation to his desk, despite missing a midnight deadline to avert a shutdown.

Biden signing the bill into law means the government is now funded through the end of fiscal 2024. Congress and the White House will have just over six months to agree to funding for the next fiscal year.

“The bipartisan funding bill I just signed keeps the government open, invests in the American people, and strengthens our economy and national security,” a White House statement read. “This agreement represents a compromise, which means neither side got everything it wanted. But it rejects extreme cuts from House Republicans and expands access to child care, invests in cancer research, funds mental health and substance use care, advances American leadership abroad, and provides resources to secure the border that my Administration successfully fought to include. That’s good news for the American people.
“But I want to be clear: Congress’s work isn’t finished. The House must pass the bipartisan national security supplemental to advance our national security interests. And Congress must pass the bipartisan border security agreement — the toughest and fairest reforms in decades — to ensure we have the policies and funding needed to secure the border. It’s time to get this done.”

The bill Biden signed on Saturday funds the Departments of Defense, Labor, Homeland Security, Health and Human Services, State, Education, and the legislative branch. It was passed by the House of Representatives, 286-134, on Friday and by the Senate, 74-24, just after 2 a.m. EDT on Saturday.

While the funding was signed into law hours after the partial shutdown deadline of midnight Saturday, the White House confirmed shortly after the deadline that the affected agencies would not be shut down due to the short lapse in funding.

“OMB has ceased shutdown preparations because there is a high degree of confidence that Congress will imminently pass the relevant appropriations and the President will sign the bill on Saturday. Because obligations of federal funds are incurred and tracked on a daily basis, agencies will not shut down and may continue their normal operations,” the White House said in a statement early Saturday, per the press pool.

The spending bill signed into law on Saturday ends a tumultuous appropriations process for fiscal 2024, which was dominated by disorder and several interim stopgaps.

Ahead of the original deadline of midnight Oct. 1, 2023, the House and Senate were able to pass a stopgap to fund the government an additional 45 days, but then-House Speaker Kevin McCarthy‘s (R-CA) reliance on Democratic support to avert a shutdown prompted anger by some in the GOP conference. McCarthy was ousted from the speakership days later, after an effort led by eight Republicans and all Democrats in the chamber.

Less than half a year later, Rep. Majorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) has filed a motion to vacate House Speaker Mike Johnson’s (R-LA) over his bipartisan agreement to fund the government through fiscal 2024, among other matters.

A specific timetable for when the motion will be voted on, or if it would pass, is currently unknown, but it appears likely to be dealt with when the House returns from recess in April.

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