GOP’s D’Esposito, Santos back bipartisan bill to avert government shutdown

GOP’s D’Esposito, Santos back bipartisan bill to avert government shutdown
United States House of Representatives chamber at the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain)

Congress narrowly averted a government shutdown late Saturday night, with overwhelming bipartisan support key in the passage of the stopgap funding bill that included local House Republicans Rep. Anthony D’Esposito (NY-04) and Rep. George Santos (NY-03).

“I have been working hard as Nassau County’s voice in Congress to avert a government shutdown,” D’Esposito said in a statement. “Yesterday, I voted for a measure that would have funded our government while curbing runaway federal spending and enhancing our border security. Regretfully, a small band of Republicans joined Democrats in rejecting those common-sense legislative solutions but I kept working.”

Partisan fighting within the House brought the decision right up to the deadline of 12:01 a.m. Sunday, with a group of staunch Republicans demanding that any bill only be passed by GOP members and meet all their budget demands.

The stopgap funding bill, which funds the federal government through Nov. 17, was passed 335-91 in the House and 88-9 in the Senate. More Democrats than Republicans voted to pass the bill, with only one Democrat in the House voting against it.

President Joe Biden signed the bill Saturday night before the deadline.

This was the second time last week that Congress attempted to pass a stopgap funding bill, after a GOP-led bill failed Friday that would have funded the government through the end of October. All House Democrats and 21 Republicans voted against it.

If the bill had failed to pass again, it would have caused the fourth partial government shutdown in a decade. A government shutdown would have prevented nearly 4 million federal employees from getting paid – regardless of whether they continued to work or not – and temporarily stopped federal programs and services.

“Today, I once again took to the House floor and helped pass a bipartisan measure that keeps the government open for 45 days,” D’Esposito said. “This legislation provides Congress much-needed time to negotiate long-term spending levels while ensuring military service members as well as border security personnel do not miss paychecks and veterans do not see a lapse in benefits.”

One aspect missing from the passed bill is billions of dollars in funding for Ukraine, which the White House had asked Congress to approve. The decision to remove the funds was made by conservatives who objected to the spending.

Despite the bill garnering overwhelming support, its passage led Florida Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz calling for a vote that would oust House Majority Leader California Rep. Kevin McCarthy, who supported the stopgap funding bill. McCarthy made statements in response that he was not concerned about the threat.

The stopgap measure is a temporary fix, with funding only settled for the following 45 days. This bill is typically implemented to provide more time for further funding negotiations. Another bill must be passed before Nov. 17 in order to prevent a government shutdown.

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