Congress avoids government shutdown

The legislation includes an additional $12.3 billion in aid for Ukraine.

The National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association (NLBMDA) reported that Congress has approved a continuing resolution that will keep the federal government open until Dec. 16.

The move avoided a looming government shutdown and allows lawmakers to go home for the entire month of October ahead of the elections in November. 

The temporary spending package was passed on Sept. 30 by the House of Representatives by a vote of 230-201, after being approved by the Senate on Sept. 29 by a vote of 72-25. 

The legislation also includes an additional $12.3 billion in aid for Ukraine, reauthorizes Federal and Drug Administration user fees through 2027, and provides $2 billion for natural disaster relief efforts. 

Earlier this week, an energy permitting reform provision championed by Sen. Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia) was removed from the spending bill after it became clear that it lacked support and could ultimately tank efforts to keep the government open, the NLBMDA said.

When Congress returns after the elections in November, they will have five weeks to negotiate the final details of a broader omnibus spending bill that will fund the government through fiscal year 2023. 

According to the NLBMDA, the political dynamics affecting the negotiations could change by then depending on the results of the election and whether Republicans take control of either the House or Senate.

President Biden is expected to sign the legislation into law in the next few hours. A summary of the bill can be found here, while the full legislative text can be found here.