Senate passes short-term government funding bill averting shutdown

ByMariam Khan, Lauren Peller, and Sarah Beth Hensley ABCNews logo
Thursday, November 16, 2023
House passes bill to avert government shutdown
The House passed the stopgap bill with bipartisanship, avoiding a potential government shutdown.

Senate leaders voted Wednesday night in favor of the short-term government funding bill the House passed Tuesday night ahead of Friday's shutdown deadline.

The video is from a previous report.

Speaker Mike Johnson pitched a two-step plan that he described as a "laddered CR" -- or continuing resolution -- that will keep the government funded at 2023 levels. The bill extends government funding until Jan. 19 for the Veterans Affairs, Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and Energy departments, as well as for military construction. The rest of the government is funded until Feb. 2.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced that the upper chamber intends to work with Republicans to pass the bill as early as Wednesday. Lawmakers are working behind the scenes to see whether they can get unanimous agreement to move forward with a plan that would allow the bill to be swiftly considered.

While Senate bills typically take a long, winding path before they reach a final vote on the floor, Schumer previously said he planned to work with Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to see if they could expedite it.

"If both sides cooperate, there's no reason we can't finish this bill even as soon as today, but we're going to keep working to see what's possible," Schumer said earlier in the day.

The government was set to shut down at the end of the day Friday, but since there was zero appetite for a shutdown ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday, movement was expected to progress faster than usual.

The White House had originally dismissed the GOP proposal as "unserious," but a White House official said earlier on Wednesday that President Joe Biden would sign the short-term funding bill if it passed in the Senate.

The White House official had called on the GOP to "stop wasting time on extreme, partisan appropriations bills" and pass the president's supplemental aid request for Israel, Ukraine, border security, humanitarian assistance and other priorities. The House-approved bill does not include that supplemental aid for Israel or Ukraine.

ABC News' John Parkinson, Justin Gomez and Allison Pecorin contributed to this report.