Washington, Nov 15 (EFE).- The United States Congress approved this Wednesday almost at dawn a new budget extension that avoids an administrative closure due to lack of funds, known as “shutdown”, which was going to occur between now and 48 hours.
The extension project had already been approved this Tuesday in the House of Representatives, which was its main obstacle, and this Wednesday it completed its legislative path with the vote around midnight in the Senate with 87 in favor and 11 against.
“I have good news for the American people, this Friday night there is not going to be a government shutdown,” said Senate Democratic Majority Leader Chuck Schumer just before the vote.
To definitively avoid the “shutdown”, all that is needed is for the president of the United States to promulgate the bill with his signature, a procedure that will possibly occur this Thursday.
The budget extension project was presented this Saturday by the new president of the House of Representatives, Republican Mike Johnson, with two different expiration dates – January 19 and February 2 – that should allow legislators to negotiate the deadline in advance. budget for fiscal year 2024, which has already begun.
This is the second extension of the 2023 budget after the one approved on September 30 and which cost the then president of the Lower House, Kevin McCarthy, the dismissal, promoted by a group of his own legislators.
That the Republican group remains divided became evident during the vote this Tuesday on the extension in the Lower House, as it received almost unanimous support from the Democrats but 93 (of 220) conservatives against.
Republican lawmaker Andrew Ogles, a member of the ultraconservative Freedom Caucus, said the prospect of approving a new extension is “very frustrating.” “It really goes against everything we’ve been fighting for,” he added.
The Democrats, for their part, are picking at the wound and have boasted that the extension does not include the cuts to which the Republicans aspired to negotiate the budgets.
With the extension approved in Congress, a government shutdown is avoided that would have left nearly two million civil servants without pay, some such as the military, who are also obliged to work, days before the Thanksgiving holiday.
The lack of funds would also have caused all kinds of problems and headaches for the Administration, from the closure of museums and national parks to the suspension of food health inspections or the interruption of scientific research programs.
The last closure of this type occurred during the Presidency of Republican Donald Trump (2017-2021) and was, with 35 days (from December 22, 2018 to January 29, 2019), the longest in history during the Christmas holidays. .