This weekend, Congress passed a crucial continuing resolution, marking a significant development in the ongoing efforts to keep the government functioning. As the fiscal year approached its end without a finalized budget, lawmakers faced the pressing need to avert a government shutdown. In a display of bipartisan cooperation, they successfully navigated the complexities of budget negotiations to pass a temporary funding measure.
The continuing resolution, often referred to as a "CR," serves as a stopgap solution to keep federal agencies operational when a full budget has not been approved. This particular CR extends funding at existing levels, allowing the government to maintain its essential functions and services. While a temporary measure, it provides the breathing room necessary for lawmakers to continue deliberations on a more comprehensive spending plan.
Rep. Daniel Webster, who represents Florida's 11th District (which includes Apopka) voted against the CR, and in his weekly newsletter, explained his reasons:
"Last week, I voted to pass four of the twelve required government spending bills, which cut government spending by $8 billion and claw-back another $18.6 billion. Taken together these bills which include the Department of Defense, State and Foreign Operations, Homeland Security, USDA, the FDA and more fund nearly 70% of the government. My House Republican colleagues are joining in something I’ve been doing and advocating for a decade – rejecting the Washington resumption that nothing in the federal budget can be cut in order to fund our priorities without increasing our deficit. Passing individual appropriations bills is no easy feat, it allows for thorough review and tough decisions – decisions and reviews that hardworking taxpayers rightfully expect us to make.
The House voted on two spending measures to avoid a government shutdown last week. The first measure, H.R.5525 would have funded our government through end of October but with a cut of $11 billion, allowing Congress time to pass the remaining appropriations bills, would have forced the Biden Administration to secure our border. This bill was a step in the right direction towards reducing spending, securing the border, and keeping our military men and women and border patrol paid. Despite my support, this measure failed to pass the House.
On Saturday, the House voted to pass a Continuing Resolution (CR) that extends current funding levels for 45 days. This legislation was later passed by the Senate and signed by the President. I voted no on this legislation.
While the CR averts a government shutdown, I opposed this legislation as it continues reckless spending by Washington and does nothing to force the Biden Administration to address the crisis at our southern border. I will continue to work with my colleagues to reduce federal spending and get our nation back on a responsible fiscal path as we work on passing the 8 remaining appropriations bills. I will also continue working to secure our border.
It didn’t have to be this way – the process of passing the required appropriations bills should have begun at the start of the year, so a vote on a budget could happen well before the fiscal deadline. I have advocated for this in the U.S. House as I adopted such a schedule when I led the Republican takeover of the Florida House of Representatives – which many have followed since – and it’s contributed to responsible spending decisions and a better budget outlook for all Floridians."
The House of representatives voted 335-91 to pass the CR, after Speaker Kevin McCarthy announced his willingness to pass the short-term funding bill through the House with Democratic help. The Senate followed suit with an 88-9 vote in favor.
After the two votes in Congress, President Joseph Biden signed the CR into effect.
The bill won support from more Democrats than Republicans in the House, with 90 Republicans voting no. Just one Democrat voted against the CR.
Without short-term funding before midnight, federal workers would have dealt with furloughs, more than 2 million active-duty and reserve military troops would have worked without a paycheck, while programs and services would have faced shutdowns and disruptions.