In response to the threat of a shutdown of the US public sector due to the end of funding and rising public debt, the US Congress passed a law to prevent the government from shutting down, CNN reports.
“The House just approved the Senate-passed stopgap funding bill to avert a shutdown by extending government funding through December 3,” the statement reads.
Funding for government agencies ends at midnight on October 1, when the new fiscal year begins in the United States. If no solution was found, civil servants would have to go on a forced leave or work without pay.
The bill must now be submitted to Biden for signature.
“In addition to funding the government, the stopgap bill will provide funding to help process and resettle Afghan refugees and finally deliver on critical disaster aid for Americans battered by storms and wildfires this summer,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said.
On September 28, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned congressmen that the government would not have enough money until October 18 if Congress did not take steps to raise the federal debt limit, reports The Washington Post.
“It is uncertain whether we could continue to meet all the nation’s commitments after that date,” Yellen wrote in a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
The US government has a large budget deficit because spending exceeds tax revenues. To address this imbalance, the government borrows money by issuing debt bonds. There is a limit set by Congress for the issuance of these securities. This limit is repeatedly increased or limited.
Republicans in the Senate on Monday night blocked a Democrat-initiated bill aimed at raising the public debt limit to prevent the government from closing on Friday. Republicans in the Senate have said they will support a separate measure to expand public funding.
A shutdown in the United States is a situation in which the government is forced to cut spending and suspend the work of the public sector, and send civil servants home.