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Biden signs measure to avoid federal government shutdown

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Biden signs measure to avoid federal government shutdown
U.S. President Joe Biden signed a funding measure to keep the government running on Thursday night. Photo by Yuri Gripas/UPI | License Photo

Sept. 30 (UPI) -- President Joe Biden on Thursday night signed a measure to resupply the federal government with funds until December and avoid a shutdown hours before deadline.

Biden, who skipped a trip to Chicago to facilitate a deal on the measure, thanked both chambers of Congress for passing the bill just before the deadline and "avoiding a government shutdown as we have seen so often in the past."

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"There's so much more to do. But the passage of this bill reminds us that bipartisan work is possible and it gives us time to pass longer-term funding to keep our government running and delivering for the American people," he said.

The Senate voted 65-35 -- with 15 Republicans joining all Democrats -- and the House voted 254-175 -- with 34 Republicans joining all Democrats -- in support of the stopgap funding bill.

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"A shutdown is not anything anyone wants," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said.

Senate Democrats said on Wednesday that they have been working on a continuing resolution to fund the government for a few extra weeks.

"This is a good outcome," Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said in a floor speech. "The last thing that Americans need is for the government to grind to a halt."

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RELATED Democrats remove debt ceiling bill to avoid looming federal gov't shutdown

Wednesday, congressional Democrats indicated that they'd separated the resolution from a proposal to raise the U.S. debt ceiling -- which has been opposed by virtually all Republicans -- to get a deal done and avoid a shutdown.

It's because the two issues were tied together that the threat of a shutdown has lasted into this week.

Schumer said the funding resolution will also provide emergency aid for U.S. disaster relief and Afghan refugee resettlement.

RELATED Senate Republicans block bill to stave off government shutdown

The urgency of avoiding a federal shutdown has forced Democrats to abandon some of the leverage they had on the proposal to raise the debt ceiling -- something that must be done within the next few weeks or the U.S. government may begin to default on some of its debt obligations.

After reaching an agreement with Republicans, Schumer urged them to help avert a default on U.S. debts, something that's never happened before.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told lawmakers last week that she expects that Congress has until about Oct. 18 to raise the debt ceiling before the government starts defaulting on payments, which would make borrowing more money more expensive and more difficult.

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