After days of stalemate, the U.S. Congress on Saturday approved a stopgap bill to keep the government open until mid-November, narrowly averting a shutdown that could have had devastating effects.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy won broad Democratic support for the bill in the short term, while hardline members of his own party remained defiant.
In the Senate, members of both parties also came together to move the bill to the table of President Joe Biden, who signed the measure late Saturday.
The Government will continue to operate until 17 November. Lawmakers must pass another spending bill before that date to avoid a shutdown.
These are the operations that continue for now
Nearly 2.2 million federal workers and 1.3 million active-duty soldiers won't see their finances affected immediately after the prospect of a shutdown threatened to leave them without pay.
Passage of the bill also avoids, at least temporarily, numerous disruptions to air travel, as a shutdown could have led to significant delays.
During the 2019 shutdown, hundreds of Transportation Security Administration employees — who had to work without pay — pleaded sick.
The bill also includes a special measure to keep the Federal Aviation Administration operational. A shutdown, coupled with the impending expiration of a key aviation law, would have caused daily losses of millions of dollars and left the agency struggling to rebuild the air traffic control system.
The White House succeeded in having natural disaster funding included in the interim bill, allowing relief efforts to continue following the recent brutal series of natural disasters.
Border policies will continue to apply, as hardline Republicans were unable to include a border security amendment in the final bill.
Interim law does not include additional aid to Ukraine
The stopgap measure that passed Congress did not include additional funding for Ukraine after McCarthy introduced a bill without additional aid for the war-torn country, a key concession that many House Republicans demanded but that disappointed Democrats.
To date, Congress has approved about $113 billion in aid to Ukraine, according to estimates by the U.S. State Department's Office of Inspector General and the Commission for a Responsible Federal Budget.
In August, the White House asked Congress to approve another $24 billion in aid, and last month, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky traveled to Capitol Hill to ask for more help.
Some Republicans argue that the Biden administration should divert funds to border security and other national priorities instead of giving more financial aid to Ukraine.
The House and Senate adjourn until Monday, and lawmakers are likely to resume negotiations when they return to Capitol Hill. Now they must pass another spending bill before they go home for Thanksgiving.
They have more than a month to agree on what provisions to include in a long-term spending bill.
The fierce debate that led to Saturday's resolution exposed a deep divide within the Republican Party that is expected to make the second round of talks just as difficult, even before the GOP tries to secure Democratic support.
Progress could stall if McCarthy's impeachment as House speaker is put to a vote, a motion that hardline Republicans plan to introduce, though the timing remains unclear.
What could the bill include in the long term?
Border security and aid to Ukraine were the two sticking points that delayed a deal and nearly led to a government shutdown.
When lawmakers resume negotiations to pass a long-term spending bill, Democrats, with bipartisan support, are expected to push to renew aid to Ukraine, while some Republicans will likely seek a border amendment.
However, as of Friday, Republicans had not reached a consensus on what kind of amendment they would want to add.
The Democratic leadership of the House of Representatives said in a statement late Saturday that McCarthy expects to move forward on a vote on aid to Ukraine once the House returns to session.
Bipartisan members of the Senate leadership issued a statement late Saturday pledging to vote on increased aid funding to Ukraine "in the coming weeks."
At least 21 times have seen government shutdowns in the United States since 1976, the longest in 2019 during the administration of then-President Donald Trump. The shutdown lasted for 34 days and the reason was the same as always: lack of agreement.
At that time the House of Representatives was dominated by Democrats and the economic impact was about 11 billion dollars, according to official figures.
(With information from CNN en Español)