The U.S. seemed to be barreling toward what would have been one of the largest government shutdowns in history -- until a stopgap 45-day funding bill was hastily passed by Congress and signed by President Joe Biden on Saturday night, not long before the deadline.
Had lawmakers failed to reach an agreement, 3.5 million federal workers would have been expected to go without a paycheck, millions of women and children would have lost nutrition assistance, national parks would likely have closed and more.
The temporary legislation, which lasts until mid-November, affords more time for the House Republican majority and the Senate's Democratic majority to work out longer-term bills.
Sep 30, 11:56 PM
Biden signs stopgap funding measure, averting government shutdown
President Joe Biden signed the 45-day stopgap funding measure late Saturday night, averting a government shutdown that was set for midnight, according to the White House.
In a post on X, Biden posted a picture of himself signing the stopgap measure to keep the government funded until Nov. 17, and urged Congress "to get to work right away" to pass a budget.
I just signed a law to keep the government open for 47 days. There’s plenty of time to pass Government funding bills for the next fiscal year, and I strongly urge Congress to get to work right away.
The American people expect their government to work.
Let’s make sure it does. pic.twitter.com/ffjwUIPWIt
— President Biden (@POTUS) October 1, 2023
"I just signed a law to keep the government open for 47 days. There’s plenty of time to pass Government funding bills for the next fiscal year, and I strongly urge Congress to get to work right away. The American people expect their government to work. Let’s make sure it does,” he wrote.
-ABC News’ Fritz Farrow
Sep 30, 10:50 PM
Defense Secretary Austin urges Congress to commit to Ukraine aid
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said in a statement Saturday that he welcomed congressional measures taken to avert "an unnecessary and destructive government shutdown that would have had a profound impact on the lives our troops and civilians who work and sacrifice to defend this country every day."
Austin urged Congress to commit to providing aid for Ukraine.
"America must live up to its word and continue to lead," Austin said.
Austin also wanted a restoration of regular order on appropriations.
"We need on-time appropriations in order to advance our National Defense strategy and position our military to meet the complex challenges of this century. I will continue to work with members of Congress to do what is necessary to defend this nation, our values and our interests," he said.
-ABC News' Luis Martinez
Sep 30, 9:38 PM
Senate leaders, appropriators issue rare joint statement confirming Ukrainian support
In a rare bipartisan statement from top Senate leaders and appropriators following the passage of Saturday’s stopgap funding measure, Senators are affirming their commitment to Ukraine.
The Senators say while they welcome Saturday’s bipartisan measure, it "leaves a number of urgent priorities outstanding."
"In the coming weeks, we expect the Senate will work to ensure the U.S. government continues to provide critical and sustained security and economic support for Ukraine," the statement reads.
The statement comes after Congress stripped $6 billion in Ukraine funding from their bill.
-ABC News Allison Pecorin
Sep 30, 9:34 PM
Biden says resolution is 'good news'
President Joe Biden said in a written statement on Saturday that the continuing resolution is "good news for the American people," saying that House Republicans "failed."
The president noted that "we should never have been in this position in the first place."
Biden said that though the bill does not include financial assistance for Ukraine, he expects Speaker Kevin McCarthy "will keep his commitment to the people of Ukraine and secure passage of the support needed to help Ukraine at this critical moment."
-ABC News' Fritz Farrow
Sep 30, 9:30 PM
Schumer says Americans can 'breathe a sigh of relief'
In brief remarks following the passage of the short-term funding bill, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer told Americans they can "breathe a sigh of relief, there will be no shutdown tonight."
Schumer touted the bipartisan nature by which the bill passed and reaffirmed his commitment to assisting Ukraine after aid to the country was cut from the short-term funding bill.
"We will not stop fighting for more economic and security assistance for Ukraine. Majorities in both parties support Ukraine aid, and doing more is vital for America's security and for democracy around the world," he said.
-ABC News Allison Pecorin
Sep 30, 9:07 PM
Senate passes stopgap funding bill
The Senate passed a stopgap funding bill Saturday that will fund the government through November and will avert a government shutdown.
With just hours to the midnight deadline, the Senate overwhelmingly voted to keep the government open until Nov. 17 by a vote of 88-9.
The House passed the measure earlier Saturday.
The measure will now head to President Biden's desk to be signed into law.
The bill the Senate passed includes disaster relief but leaves Ukraine aid on the cutting room floor.
-ABC News’ Rachel Scott, Allie Pecorin and Mariam Khan
Sep 30, 8:30 PM
Senate now voting on stopgap funding bill
The Senate is now voting on the House-passed short-term funding bill. The bill, which funds the government for 45 days and provides funding for disaster relief, is expected to pass overwhelmingly. It'll need 60 votes to clear the Senate.
Once the bill passes the Senate, it will head to President Joe Biden's desk for his signature just hours before a shutdown.
After a day of upheaval about how to proceed, all Senators present agreed to move forward with this vote on Saturday. That doesn't mean they were happy with it.
The thorn in the side of a lot of Senators Saturday is that they're passing a stopgap funding bill with no Ukraine aid attached. There are Democrats and Republicans in the Senate who are deeply unhappy with the anti-Ukraine sentiments and the fact that Congress failed to deliver more support to Ukraine just one week after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy came hat in hand.
The anger about moving forward without Ukraine aid was so intense that it caused the Senate to stall for several hours while waiting to pass the bill.
Colorado Democrat Michael Bennet stopped the Senate from voting for several hours until he received assurances that there would be a vote on supplemental aid to Ukraine. Bennet was ultimately satiated by commitments on the floor from both Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell that Ukraine aid would remain an urgent topic of discussion in the upper chamber.
"I have very good news for the country. Democrats and Republicans have come to an agreement and the got will remain open we will have avoided a shutdown," Schumer said. "The bipartisanship which has been the trademark of the Senate has prevailed and the American people can breathe a sigh of relief, but this is a bridge CR and Leader McConnell and I have agreed to continue fighting for more economic and security aid for Ukraine. We support Ukraine's efforts to defend its sovereignty against Putin's aggression."
McConnell echoed those sentiments.
"Most Senate Republicans remain committed to helping our friends on the front lines by investing more heavily in American strength that reinforces our allies and deterring our top strategic adversary: China. I'm confident the Senate will pass further urgent assistance to Ukraine later this year but let's be clear the alternative to our action today was an entirely avoidable government shutdown that would not just pause our progress on these important priorities it would actually set them back," he said.
It's not clear exactly how the Senate will proceed with trying to fund Ukraine. A number of options were floated Saturday that the Senate will continue to work through when it returns next week.
-ABC News' Rachel Scott, Allie Pecorin and Mariam Khan
Sep 30, 7:54 PM
As clock ticks toward a shutdown, Senate is in a holding pattern
The Senate is not voting, as the clock is ticking toward a government shutdown.
Earlier Saturdayday the House passed its short-term funding bill, which funds the government for 45 days and provides disaster aid. But the Senate has been in recess for a few hours now and is running out of time to pass the House bill before the midnight deadline.
All Senators in the chamber have to agree to hold a vote tonight. Right now, one is standing in the way.
Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., is demanding that Senate leadership assure him they'll hold a vote at some point soon on additional funding for Ukraine, which the House stripped out of the bill. If they can't assure him, he might block the Senate from holding a vote Saturday night.
It's not yet clear what the way out of this is. Sources are generally optimistic they'll find a work around before the clock strikes midnight, but it could be a nail-biter.
-ABC News' Rachel Scott and Allison Pecorin
Sep 30, 7:25 PM
McCarthy to GOP critics: 'Bring it'
Speaking to reporters after the House vote, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., struck a bipartisan tone -- and told those members who want to oust him because he worked with Democrats to "bring it."
"It's all right if Republicans and Democrats joined together to do what is right," McCarthy said. "If somebody wants to make a motion against me, bring it. There has to be an adult in the room."
Asked by ABC News if he was satisfied with the final tally, which had largely Democratic votes, McCarthy said: "I think at the end of the day, we kept the government open, kept paying our troops to finish the job we have to get done."
McCarthy said he had "tried every possible way listening to every single person in the conference."
"I don't want to be a part of that team,” he continued, referring to the far-right members of the Republican party. "I want to be part of a conservative group that wants to get things done."
-ABC News' Rachel Scott and Benjamin Siegel
Sep 30, 5:55 PM
Bowman 'regrets' triggering building alarm, spox says
Rep. Jamaal Bowman, D-NY, "regrets" triggering a building alarm in the Cannon House Office Building earlier Saturday, a spokesperson said.
"Congressman Bowman did not realize he would trigger a building alarm as he was rushing to make an urgent vote. The Congressman regrets any confusion," his spokesperson, Emma Simon, said in a statement to ABC News.
Rep Jamaal Bowman pulled a fire alarm in Cannon this morning. An investigation into why it was pulled is underway. - Chairman Bryan Steil
— House Admin. Committee GOP (@HouseAdmin) September 30, 2023
The fire alarm was triggered at 12:05 p.m. on the second floor of the building, according to a U.S. Capitol Police spokesperson. The building was evacuated and reopened after officers determined there was no threat.
"An investigation into what happened and why continues," the Capitol Police spokesperson said.
The alarm went off as Democrats were scrambling to make it back to the Capitol to vote and buy themselves more time to review the GOP bill.
-ABC News' Rachel Scott, Lauren Peller, John Parkinson, Jay O'Brien and Benjamin Siegel