Joe Biden signs short-term spending bill to avoid partial government shutdown

The measure gives politicians some more time to draft and pass spending measures to keep the federal government operating.

US President Joe Biden (Andrew Harnik, AP)
Biden US President Joe Biden (Andrew Harnik, AP) (Andrew Harnik/AP)

US President Joe Biden signed a short-term spending measure on Friday that keeps one set of federal agencies operating until March 8 and another group until March 22.

The agreement officially staved off a partial government shutdown that would have started on Saturday.

The measure gives politicians more time to draft and pass spending measures to keep the federal government operating for the current fiscal year, which ends on September 30.

Washington DC has been running on a series of short-term measures because Congress had failed to enact full-year spending bills on time.

“This bipartisan agreement prevents a damaging shutdown and allows more time for Congress to work toward full-year funding bills,” Mr Biden said in a statement on Thursday evening after both the House and Senate cleared the temporary fix.

“That’s good news for the American people. But I want to be clear: this is a short-term fix — not a long-term solution.”

The House vote to approve the extension 320-99 on Thursday.

It easily cleared the two-thirds majority needed for passage.

Democrats overwhelmingly voted to avert a partial shutdown. The vote was much more divided with Republicans, 113 in support and 97 against. The Senate took up the bill and approved it during an evening vote of 77-13.

Next week, the House and Senate are expected to take up a package of six spending bills and get them to the president before March 8.

Then, politicians would work to fund the rest of the government by the new March 22 deadline.