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Biden signs short-term funding extension, averting government shutdown

President Joe Biden signed into law a short-term funding extension on Friday, the White House announced, averting a partial government shutdown after lawmakers raced the clock to pass the bill ahead of a key Friday deadline.

In a rare event, lawmakers had been confronting not one but two government shutdown deadlines on January 19 and February 2. The short-term funding extension sets up two new funding deadlines on March 1 and March 8.

But major challenges still lay ahead. Lawmakers will now attempt to pass a series of full-year spending bills before the new March deadlines – a painstaking process with a wide array of potential issues as the two parties fight for competing policy priorities.

Both chambers of Congress passed the short-term funding extension on Thursday. The Senate voted first to approve the bill by a tally of 77 to 18. The House passed the bill later in the day, 314 to 108.

House Speaker Mike Johnson, who presides over an extremely narrow majority, has faced intense pushback from his right flank amid the government spending fight as conservatives demand deep spending cuts. House Republicans were nearly evenly divided over the short-term funding extension, a sign of the deep rift within the conference and the challenges facing the speaker.

Johnson has been criticized by conservatives over a topline spending deal he struck with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, which would set spending at close to $1.66 trillion overall. Conservatives were also quick to criticize the proposal for a short-term funding extension after it was announced.

Johnson has defended the topline agreement and said in a statement Sunday that the short-term spending bill “is required to complete what House Republicans are working hard to achieve: an end to governance by omnibus, meaningful policy wins, and better stewardship of American tax dollars.”

CNN’s Haley Talbot contributed to this report.

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