President Joe Biden signs bill to avoid a partial government shutdown

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden on Friday signed a short-term spending bill that keeps the federal government operating until early March.

The bill averts what would’ve been a partial government shutdown starting Saturday. It does not address additional aid for Ukraine, which remains in limbo as key legislators continue to negotiate a border security measure that would go in tandem with more support for Kyiv.

Congress, ahead of the winter snowstorm that struck Washington, D.C., on Friday, passed the short-term bill with large bipartisan majorities on Thursday. The vote was 77-18 in the Senate and 314-108 in the House.

Under the bill, funding for agencies overseeing agriculture, veterans affairs, energy, transportation and housing runs through March 1. Funding for the rest of the federal government now runs through March 8. It’s meant to buy lawmakers extra time to draft full-year spending bills through the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30.

Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., will continue to face pressure from House conservatives who want him to abandon a bipartisan agreement that sets overall spending levels for those full-year bills at $1.66 trillion. Those conservatives say that is too much money, but Democrats and moderate Republicans say Congress must abide by that deal and avoid legislative dysfunction during an election year.

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