U.S. House expected to pass stopgap government funding bill




  • In US
  • 2022-09-30 10:04:54Z
  • By Reuters
 

By Moira Warburton

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. House of Representatives is expected on Friday to pass a bill funding the federal government through Dec. 16, avoiding an embarrassing partial shutdown less than six weeks before the midterm elections when control of Congress is at stake.

The legislation provides funding for federal agencies and an additional $12.3 billion for Ukraine's war effort against the Russian invasion.

The Democratic-controlled U.S. Senate passed the measure on Thursday and the House, also controlled by Democrats, is expected to pass it and move it to President Joe Biden's desk for signature into law on Friday.

The bill also authorizes Biden to direct the drawdown of up to $3.7 billion for the transfer to Ukraine of excess weapons from U.S. stocks.

Amid reports of Russian forces threatening the safety of Ukraine's nuclear power plants and Russian President Vladimir Putin hinting he might use nuclear weapons against Ukraine, the legislation would appropriate $35 million "to prepare for and respond to potential nuclear and radiological incidents in Ukraine," according to a bill summary.

The stopgap bill also includes a five-year renewal of Food and Drug Administration user fees being collected from drug and medical device companies to review their products and determine whether they are safe and effective, the bill summary showed.

The law authorizing the collection of fees expires on Friday.

Congress has resorted to this kind of last-minute temporary spending bill in 43 out of the past 46 years due to its failure to approve full-year appropriations in time for the Oct. 1 start of a fiscal year, according to a government study.

The last time Congress allowed funding to lapse was in December 2018, when Democrats balked at paying for then-President Donald Trump's U.S.-Mexico border wall, leading to a record, 35-day impasse and partial government shutdown.

(Reporting by Moira Warburton, David Morgan and Richard Cowan in Washington; Editing by Scott Malone and Deepa Babington)

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