Status: 01.10.2023, 03:15 a.m.
Republican Kevin McCarthy surprisingly presented the transitional budget, putting pressure on the Democrats. © J. Scott Applewhite/AP
Once again, the U.S. was threatened with a standstill in government business - again, the saving agreement came only at the last moment. But this time it was particularly close.
Washington - The U.S. Congress has probably averted a feared shutdown of government business only shortly before the deadline. The Senate approved on Saturday evening (local time) a transitional budget that prevents a so-called shutdown. Now President Joe Biden has to sign the law - this is considered likely.
The bridging budget of 45 days does not include any aid for Ukraine, which has been attacked by Russia. Biden's Democrats therefore grudgingly supported the bill in order to prevent a shutdown. The dispute over the budget has exposed the deep division of the Republicans.
The term of the budget passed by the US Congress at the end of last year ends at the end of this month. Until then, a new federal budget had to be adopted in order to avert insolvency. True, the political tug-of-war is repeated every year - as a rule, Congress makes do with the passage of a transitional budget and then in a few months again argues about the financing of government business for the coming year. It is the same in this case.
Kevin McCarthy puts pressure on Democrats
The Republican chairman of the House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy, had surprisingly presented the transitional budget on Saturday morning, putting pressure on the Democrats. The government's business will now continue to be financed at the level of the previous budget until mid-November.
For the White House, further aid to Ukraine was a priority. The Democrats were now faced with the question of whether they would accept a government shutdown in the dispute over support for Kiev. The aid currently approved for Ukraine should soon run out.
The Pentagon reportedly warned that there was not much money left for military aid. In the end, however, the majority of the Democrats voted in favor of the bridging budget in order to avert the shutdown. President Biden is expected to sign the budget into law – in part because it includes disaster relief he has called for.
Moreover, the transitional budget does not include any drastic spending cuts. This is likely to get the Republican McCarthy into trouble. Because radical members of parliament in his group had demanded exactly that – and McCarthy in the past few days drove in front of him and exposed. The Republicans have only a narrow majority in the House of Representatives, which gives special power to the extreme Republicans in the caucus. Some of them have recently more or less openly threatened to chase McCarthy out of office. At the beginning of the year, the Republican had only come into office after 15 rounds of voting, because parts of his party had denied him the following. Dpa