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USA: “Shutdown” averted – Congress votes for short-term solution

USA: “Shutdown” averted – Congress votes for short-term solution

The deeply divided US Congress has been unable to agree on a federal budget for months. Now the parties in parliament are only a few days away from finding a solution.

A partial standstill of government business in the USA has been averted for the time being. After the House of Representatives, the Senate also passed a law that secures the government’s financing for the time being and prevents a so-called shutdown – but only for a short time. US President Joe Biden still has to sign the law, but this is considered a formality. This is an extension of the current government spending requirements and is therefore only a transitional arrangement – now the fourth in a row. Since September, the divided parliament has not been able to agree on a law to finance the entire financial year.

With the extension, parliamentarians now want to give themselves more time to find a longer-term agreement. This time the solution only lasts a few days. Funding for a number of ministries and federal agencies would have expired on Saturday night, and funding for other parts of the government would have expired on March 8th. Due to the parliamentary decision, the deadlines are now only postponed by a few days: to March 8th and 22nd. This means that a longer-term solution for the remainder of the financial year until the end of September is still pending.

The political wrangling over the budget is quite common in the USA. It happens regularly that Congress first makes do with passing an interim budget and then a few months later argues again about the financing of government operations. An agreement is usually only reached very close to the deadline, as is the case now.

The question of new financial aid from the USA for other countries such as Ukraine remains unresolved. Biden had requested a large billion-dollar package for Kiev from Congress months ago. However, some Republicans are skeptical or reject support for Ukraine attacked by Russia. The domestic political blockade has been preventing the delivery of military supplies from the USA to Kiev for some time.

Source: Stern

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