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Biden signs stopgap spending bill to avert government shutdown hours before deadline

Xinhua | Updated: 2024-03-02 04:37

WASHINGTON -- US President Joe Biden on Friday signed into law a short-term stopgap spending bill to avert a partial government shutdown, just a few hours before the deadline when several federal agencies and programs are set to run out of funding.

The president's signing came one day after US Congress passed the stopgap funding bill, which would prolong the existing funding deadlines of March 1 and March 8 until March 8 and March 22, buying Congress more time to craft annual spending bills.

After preparing final text, package of six full-year appropriations bills that fund the departments of agriculture, commerce, energy, interior, justice, transportation and veterans affairs will be voted on and enacted prior to March 8, according to a joint statement by House Speaker Mike Johnson and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer released Wednesday.

The remaining six appropriations bills — defense, financial services and general government, homeland security, labor-health and human services, legislative branch, and state and foreign operations — will be finalized, voted on, and enacted prior to March 22.

This is the fourth time the US Congress has approved stopgap funding bill to keep government running to buy lawmakers more time to finish the formal appropriations process for fiscal year 2024, which began on Oct 1, 2023.

The Congress previously approved stopgap funding measures in September 2023, in November 2023, and in January 2024.

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