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Senate, House pass 45-day measure to keep government open

Biden signs spending bill into law

President Joe Biden signed the spending bill — officially called HR 5860 — into law late Saturday night, preventing a government shutdown. 

“I just signed a law to keep the government open for 47 days,” the @POTUS account posted on Instagram.

“There’s plenty of time to pass Government funding bills for the next fiscal year, and I strongly urge Congress to get to work right away. The American people expect their government to work. Let’s make sure it does.”

Katrina Bishop

Biden says ‘manufactured crisis’ over shutdown never should have happened

President Joe Biden took shots at “extreme House Republicans” as he applauded the bill’s passage.

“This is good news for the American people. But I want to be clear: we should never have been in this position in the first place,” Biden said in a statement after the bill passed out of the Senate.

“Just a few months ago, Speaker McCarthy and I reached a budget agreement to avoid precisely this type of manufactured crisis. For weeks, extreme House Republicans tried to walk away from that deal by demanding drastic cuts that would have been devastating for millions of Americans.”

“They failed,” Biden said.

The president added that he expects the Republican House speaker will help secure more U.S. aid to Ukraine, which was left out of the stopgap bill.

“We cannot under any circumstances allow American support for Ukraine to be interrupted,” Biden said.

Kevin Breuninger

Schumer: ‘MAGA Republicans won nothing’

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) leaves after speaking to the news media as the deadline to avert a government shutdown approaches on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 27, 2023.

Leah Millis | Reuters

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., cheered the passage of a short-term funding bill that avoided not only a government shutdown but also a slew of deep spending cuts sought by some GOP lawmakers.

“We avoided all of the extreme, nasty, and harmful cuts MAGA Republicans wanted,” Schumer said after the bill passed in the Senate with overwhelming bipartisan support.

“No 30% cuts to things like health care. No cuts to the Social Security Administration. No cuts to nutrition programs for kids. Full reauthorization for the [Federal Aviation Administration] until December 31st,” Schumer said.

“After trying to take our government hostage, MAGA Republicans won nothing,” he said.

“Today, MAGA extremists have failed, bipartisanship has prevailed, and both parties have come together to avert a shutdown.”

Kevin Breuninger

Senate overwhelmingly votes to keep government funded for next 45 days

The 45-day continuing resolution passed in the Senate at 9:03 p.m. ET, less than three hours before the federal government would have shut down.

The stopgap bill passed in a 88-9 vote, with all Democrats voting in support.

The nine Republican senators to vote against the bill were:

  • Mike Braun of Indiana
  • Rand Paul of Kentucky
  • Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee
  • Roger Marshall of Kansas
  • Eric Schmitt of Missouri
  • Ted Cruz of Texas
  • J.D. Vance of Ohio
  • Mike Lee of Utah
  • Bill Hagerty of Tennessee

Kevin Breuninger

House Democratic leaders say they expect McCarthy will advance Ukraine aid bill

House Democratic leaders vowed to pursue more aid for Ukraine as they celebrated the passage of the short-term funding bill.

“On the House Floor, we passed a spending bill that meets the needs of hardworking American taxpayers and provides billions for disaster assistance at the level requested by President Biden,” four top House Democrats said in a joint statement Saturday night.

The statement came from House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries of New York, Democratic Whip Katherine Clark of Massachusetts, and California’s Pete Aguilar, the caucus chair, and Vice Chair Ted Lieu.

“Moving forward, there is still work that needs to be done, including by renewing support for the valiant Ukrainian effort to defeat Russia on the battlefield in the name of freedom and democracy,” they said.

“When the House returns, we expect Speaker McCarthy to advance a bill to the House Floor for an up-or-down vote that supports Ukraine, consistent with his commitment to making sure that Vladimir Putin, Russia and authoritarianism are defeated.”

“We must stand with the Ukrainian people until victory is won,” the Democrats said.

Kevin Breuninger

Final vote on stopgap spending bill begins in the Senate

The Senate has begun to vote on final passage of a stopgap bill that will keep the government open and funded for the next 45 days.

The measure, which passed the House hours earlier, proceeded to a vote by the unanimous consent of the Senate.

The vote requires the support of 60 senators to pass.

“I have very good news for the country: Democrats and Republicans have come to an agreement and the government will remain open,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said on the floor before the proceedings started.

“The American people can breathe a sigh of relief,” he said.

The bill came to a vote less than four hours before midnight, when the federal government was set to shut down.

Kevin Breuninger

Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet holding up final Senate vote over lack of Ukraine funding

Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO) speaks on a mobile phone after a vote the day after the shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, on Capitol Hill in Washington, May 25, 2022.

Joshua Roberts | Reuters

Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., is standing in the way of his chamber’s efforts to quickly vote on a bill to avert a government shutdown.

Republican Sens. Chuck Grassley of Iowa and South Dakota’s John Thune told NBC News that Bennet’s objection stems from the lack of funding for Ukraine in the House-passed stopgap bill.

All senators must agree to expedite the process of bringing the bill to a vote.

Bennet’s office did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.

Kevin Breuninger

Senate likely to hold final vote ‘within an hour,’ Sen. Manchin says

The Senate could hold its final vote on the House-passed bill to avert a government shutdown “within an hour,” Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., told reporters as he left a Democratic caucus meeting.

Kevin Breuninger

McCarthy on Bowman pulling fire alarm: ‘This should not go without punishment’

Speaker Kevin McCarthy called for consequences after Democratic Rep. Jamaal Bowman of New York pulled a fire alarm in a congressional office building as lawmakers grappled over a short-term funding bill.

“This should not go without punishment,” the Republican leader said at a press conference after the House passed the stopgap bill to keep the government open for 45 days.

The alarm in Cannon House Office Building was pulled as Democrats sought more time to consider whether to support that measure.

Bowman’s office in a statement Saturday afternoon suggested the congressman did not mean to set off the alarm.

“Congressman Bowman did not realize he would trigger a building alarm as he was rushing to make an urgent vote,” a spokesman for Bowman told NBC News. “The Congressman regrets any confusion.”

But McCarthy was incredulous.

“I think Ethics should take a look at this, but this is serious,” McCarthy said at the press conference, adding that he planned to speak to Democratic House leader Hakeem Jeffries of New York about the incident.

“He pulled a fire alarm?” McCarthy said. “What’s going through a person’s mind like that?”

Kevin Breuninger

Senate Democrats will caucus at 3:45 p.m.

Senate Democrats will caucus at 3:45 p.m. ET, a Democratic aide said, as the chamber considers a House-passed stopgap bill to avert a government shutdown at midnight.

Kevin Breuninger

House adjourns after passing 45-day stopgap bill

A jogger runs by the U.S. Capitol as the deadline to avert a partial government shutdown approaches at the end of the day on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., September 30, 2023.

Ken Cedeno | Reuters

The House adjourned until Monday, just minutes after passing a stopgap bill to keep the government open for 45 days.

The measure now moves to the Senate, which must pass it before midnight in order to avoid a shutdown.

Senate leaders are expected to try to expedite the process of considering the bill in order to tee it up for a vote today. Doing so would require the agreement of the entire chamber.

Kevin Breuninger

House passes 45-day measure to keep government open

U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) arrives to speak with reporters about a looming shutdown of the U.S. government at the Capitol in Washington, U.S., September 29, 2023. 

Jonathan Ernst | Reuters

The House voted 335 to 91 to pass a 45-day stopgap spending measure, a significant step toward avoiding a government shutdown.

The measure does not include funding for Ukraine though it allocates money for disaster relief.

The bill, crafted by Republicans and supported by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, will now head to the Senate. The House will resume its work on Monday.

— Amanda Macias

TSA administrator says travelers should expect delays at airports if government shuts down

Travellers process through a security checkpoint at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport before the Thanksgiving holiday in Seattle, Washington, U.S. November 24, 2021.

Lindsey Wasson | Reuters

The Transportation Security Administration said about 95% of its employees will have to work without pay in the event of a government shutdown.

“Most TSA employees do not have the option for remote work. Therefore, they will still be incurring costs for their commute, childcare, and other work-related expenses, but without receiving a paycheck for their work,” TSA Administrator David Pekoske said in a statement.

“It impacts the ability of people to get to work, to pay to put gas in their vehicles, to pay for parking. It impacts their ability to pay the individuals that provide care for their children,” Pekoske said, adding that travelers should expect longer wait times at airports.

— Amanda Macias

Investigation underway into reports of Democrat Rep. Jamaal Bowman pulling a fire alarm on Capitol Hill

Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) leaves the U.S. Capitol Building on May 23, 2023 in Washington, DC.

Anna Moneymaker | Getty Images News | Getty Images

The House Administration committee said via a social media post on X, formerly known as Twitter, that Democrat Rep. Jamaal Bowman of New York pulled a fire alarm in the Cannon House office building around the same time the House was set to start voting on a CR bill.

“An investigation into why it was pulled is underway,” the committee added in a statement on X.

NBC News did not immediately receive a comment from Rep. Bowman’s office.

— Amanda Macias

House Speaker McCarthy dares critics to remove him from office

Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., conducts a news conference in the U.S. Capitol on border security, government funding, and other issues, on Friday, September 29, 2023. 

Anna Moneymaker | Getty Images

House Speaker McCarthy dared his counterparts to remove him from office over the pending government shutdown.

“If somebody wants to remove [me], because I want to be the adult in the room, go ahead and try,” McCarthy said, according to NBC News.

“If I have to risk my job for standing up for the American public, I will do that,” he added.

McCarthy said the House would vote on a 45-day stopgap bill at 11:45 am that would keep the government open.

— Amanda Macias

Minority Leader Jeffries slams Republicans for bringing 70-page legislation in the ’11th hour’

House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries speaks following a meeting with the House Democratic Caucus on the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023 in the US Capitol in Washington, DC, on May 31, 2023.

Mandel Ngan | AFP | Getty Images

Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., slammed Republicans for bringing a 45-day stopgap measure “in the 11th hour” of a government shutdown.

“All we want is time,” Jeffries said in a nearly one-hour speech on the House floor.

“At the 11th hour, legislation is dropped on the American people and we’re told that you have 5 or 10 minutes to evaluate legislation that is more than 70 pages long and expected to simply trust the word of our extreme MAGA Republican colleagues,” Jeffries said, referencing former President Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again” movement.

“All we are simply saying is that we want time to evaluate,” Jeffries said, adding that Democrats will return with a decision following their review of the bill.

— Amanda Macias

House Democrats discuss Republican resolution in an emergency meeting

The Democratic caucus of the House has held an emergency meeting to discuss the continuing resolution, or CR, of their Republican colleagues, according to NBC.

House Republicans were due to hold a vote on their CR at 11:45 a.m. ET.

Democrats feel they have not been given enough time to review the resolution and decide whether they support it. They requested 90 minutes to read the Republican resolution but were denied, NBC reports.

“We’re expected as elected representatives just to blindly vote on it like sheep, with that record of having your credibility undermined over and over and over again?” said House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries of New York, according to NBC.

Some Democrats have expressed that they might vote for the resolution.

NBC reported that Democratic Florida Rep. Jared Moskowitz has indicated he would vote in favor and California Rep. Juan Vargas would vote for it “if it’s a clean CR.”

Rebecca Picciotto

45-day stopgap measure does not include funding for Ukraine

The US and Ukrainian float on the South Lawn of the White House ahead of a meeting between President Joe Biden and his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky in Washington, DC on December 21, 2022.

Olivier Douliery | AFP | Getty Images

The House will vote soon on a 45-day clean continuing resolution aimed at keeping the government open.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) told reporters that the 45-day stopgap measure does not include funds for Kyiv’s fight against Moscow because “Ukraine has $3 billion” already. The text of the bill does include funding for disaster relief.

Since the inception of Russia’s full-scale war in Ukraine, the U.S. has unleashed a war chest worth more than $43 billion in security assistance.

— Amanda Macias

Here’s Congress’ schedule so far as officials try to avert shutdown

Congress has just hours to pass a budget before the government shuts down. Here’s the schedule so far today, according to NBC, though plans could change:

9:30 a.m. ET: House Republicans met in the Capitol for a conference meeting. This follows another conference meeting Friday evening where Speaker Kevin McCarthy proposed a 45-day budget that would fund disaster relief but neither border security nor Ukraine support. That resolution did not pass and will likely continue to change.

10 a.m. ET: The House opened the floor and started its Saturday session.

According to NBC, Republican Rep. Tim Burchett of Tennessee said the House should have started earlier this morning: “We should have been at this seven o’clock in the morning talking about it.”

11:45 a.m. ET: The House will vote on a CR that would provide a budget until mid-November, House Majority Leader Steve Scalise announced.

12 p.m. ET: The Senate is due to resume its session.

Around 1 p.m. ET (delayed): This afternoon, the Senate postponed its third procedural vote on a bipartisan continuing resolution, or CR, that would keep the government funded in the short term. Senators have begun a so-called “live quorum call,” a procedure where they will discuss next steps.

The Senate’s CR needs 60 votes to move forward. The first two procedural votes took place on Sept. 26, when it received 77 votes in favor, and Sept. 28, when it received 76 votes in favor. If the procedural vote passes, debate will begin for up to 30 hours.

Meanwhile, Democrats in the lower chamber are buying time on the House floor to give the proposed CR of their Republican colleagues a more thorough review before voting.

3:45 p.m. ET: Senate Democrats will hold a caucus to discuss next steps in addressing a House-passed CR.

11:59 p.m. ET: This is the deadline for the government to pass a budget deal before the shutdown takes effect.

Rebecca Picciotto

Pence confident Republicans ‘will find a way’ as shutdown looms

Fmr. VP Pence: 'No question about it' we could've done a better job controlling domestic spending

Former Vice President Mike Pence hailed House Republicans for standing “firm” ahead of a pending government shutdown.

“I think it’s important that House Republicans stand firm and get another down payment on restoring fiscal responsibility to Washington, D.C.,” Pence told CNBC’s Eamon Javers on “Last Call.”

Pence said that he was confident that Republicans “will find a way even if there is a short-term shutdown to fund the government.”

Pence added that as president, his administration “will take on the long-term mandatory spending programs and bring some common sense reforms that will put us back on a path of fiscal solvency and a balanced budget in the years ahead.”

— Amanda Macias

House’s morning meeting yields little movement, CR vote to come

Republican Majority Leader Steve Scalise announced that the House will vote on a continuing resolution, or CR, today at 11:45 a.m. ET, according to NBC.

However, House Republicans left their morning conference meeting with little reassurance that the government would avoid a shutdown tonight, NBC reports.

The caucus held a private conference meeting at 9:30 a.m. before the House floor opened today.

Republican Whip Tom Emmer of Minnesota said, according to an NBC source, that the caucus does not have the votes it needs to pass a Republican-drafted CR, which would provide a short-term government budget to avert a shutdown.

The meeting comes after a group of conservative GOP House members on Friday sunk a Republican-drafted bill that would have included the spending cuts and border security funding that House Republicans are looking for.

“We presented the most conservative short-term funding option with border security available,” said New York Republican Rep. Marcus Molinaro, referencing the bill that did not pass on Friday. “It is necessary for us to take the next best option, which is not to abandon the people who expect services from us.”

Staunch GOP House members like Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene have said they will not vote for the CR as it stands, despite the looming shutdown deadline.

Rebecca Picciotto

2 million servicemembers and more than 1.5 million federal civilian employees will go without a paycheck during shutdown

A general view of the U.S. Capitol, where Congress will return Tuesday to deal with a series of spending bills before funding runs out and triggers a partial U.S. government shutdown, in Washington, U.S. September 25, 2023. 

Jonathan Ernst | Reuters

The Biden administration estimates that an estimated 2 million U.S. servicemembers and more than 1.5 million federal civilian employees will go without a paycheck during a government shutdown.

The Office of Management and Budget also estimates that approximately 820,000 federal employees may be furloughed for as long as the shutdown lasts.

— Amanda Macias

Government shutdown is ‘unacceptable,’ Biden says

President Joe Biden called the looming government shutdown “unacceptable” on Saturday morning.

“There are those in Congress right now who are sowing so much division, they’re willing to shut down the government tonight. It’s unacceptable,” Biden wrote on X.

— Amanda Macias

‘Total failure by everybody in government,’ GOP presidential candidate Chris Christie says of shutdown

Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie launches his bid for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics in Manchester, New Hampshire, U.S., June 6, 2023. 

Sophie Park | Reuters

Republican presidential candidate and former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie slammed lawmakers for the pending U.S. government shutdown.

“Total failure by everybody in government,” Christie told NBC’s Emma Barnett following a town hall in Keene, New Hampshire, on Friday. Christie said both Democrats and Republicans are “guilty” of creating the looming government crisis.

When asked how he would handle the situation if he were president Christie slammed Biden by saying, “I would not be sitting around like Joe Biden acting like it’s not my problem.”

“They’d be in the White House and we’d work on it until they fixed it,” Christie said of congressional leaders.

— Amanda Macias

Tens of thousands of civilian defense workers will go without a paycheck during the shutdown

The Pentagon in Washington, DC, on Mya 10, 2023, in an aerial view.

Daniel Slim | AFP | Getty Images

The largest government agency will have to furlough tens of thousands of civilian defense workers if there’s a lapse in federal funding.

The Pentagon, which oversees a workforce of approximately 950,000 civilians and more than 1.3 million active-duty servicemembers, will begin to shut down non-essential military services on Monday if a budget resolution is not passed by Congress on Saturday.

Depending on the military installation, servicemembers and their families may experience canceled elective medical procedures at military hospitals, a halt in temporary duty movements and other shuddered services due to the shutdown.

Civilians and servicemembers will not be paid for as long as the shutdown persists, however, Department of Defense employees will receive back pay following a budget deal.

— Amanda Macias

National parks, Smithsonian museums to close in government shutdown

People paint and take photos as water flows forcefully down Bridalveil Fall in Yosemite Valley, as warming temperatures have increased snowpack runoff, on April 27, 2023 in Yosemite National Park, California. 

Mario Tama | Getty Images News | Getty Images

If the government is shut down tomorrow, you may have to postpone that Sunday hike.

The U.S. Department of the Interior announced on Friday that national parks will be closed “in the event of a lapse in annual government appropriations.”

“This means that the majority of national parks will be closed completely to public access. Areas that, by their nature, are physically accessible to the public will face significantly reduced visitor services,” the Department said.

The Smithsonian Institution has also released its contingency plan, saying services that protect “life or property” such as taking care of the national collections and National Zoo animals will continue. However, Smithsonian museums will close to the public.

The National Parks Service, or NPS, will also maintain operations to keep property and life in the park protected. And visitors will still have physical access to areas like the National Mall where “it is impossible or impractical” to keep people out. But visitor services that require NPS resources like restroom maintenance, sanitation, road upkeep, campground and emergency operations “will vary and are not guaranteed.”

Employees of NPS and the Smithsonian will be furloughed, except those whose jobs are exempt from the pause.

As the midnight government shutdown deadline looms, government officials are scrambling to negotiate a resolution that will pass among House Republicans who want big spending cuts and congressional Democrats. The government will officially shut down at 12:01 a.m. ET on Sunday if they fail to find a middle ground and make a deal.

Rebecca Picciotto

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