House lawmakers on Saturday shocked Americans from coast to coast after they came together to pass a temporary deal to avoid a government shutdown.
Bipartisan House lawmakers passed a short-term measure known as a continuing resolution, which would keep the government funded at current levels.
But the country isn’t out of the woods yet.
The House and Senate have to approve the same deal before they can send it to President Joe Biden’s desk and avert a shutdown, for now. Also, lawmakers will have to approve a permanent solution at some point to fund the government and avoid the widespread impacts that government shutdowns have on the country.
Millions of Americans would be impacted be a government shutdown. Federal workers would be furloughed, and some subcontractors would be out of work with no guarantee of receiving backpay once the government reopens. A government shutdown would also target funding for food programs, preschool opportunities, some food safety inspections and more.
But it’s important to remember that, while the House has approved a plan to dodge a government shutdown for now, Congress hasn't agreed on a permanent deal. Here’s what you need to know.
What is a continuing resolution? How long is the government funded?
A continuing resolution is a temporary funding plan that buys lawmakers more time to negotiate spending legislation for the country.
The continuing resolution House lawmakers passed on Saturday keeps the government funded for another 45 days. While the Senate hasn’t voted on the legislation yet, they’re expected to take it up Saturday evening.
If at the end of that 45-day period Congress hasn’t come up with another temporary solution, or actually approved the dozen spending bills that would grant the government longer-term funding, the nation will be facing another government shutdown.
The House overwhelmingly passed the continuing resolution on Saturday to keep the government funded, with 335 lawmakers approving the resolution and 91 opposing it. Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., who voted against the measure on Saturday has threatened to oust House Speaker Kevin McCarthy from his role as the House leader if he worked with Democrats to pass a continuing resolution.
Gaetz is one of a handful of House lawmakers calling for deep spending cuts and making a slate of conservative demands, including increased security at the southern border and provisions striking “woke” policies from the Pentagon, which mostly pertain to the Defense Department's abortion policies.
But those demands have no chance of passing the Senate, which is currently controlled by Democrats. As lawmakers search for a funding solution to stretch beyond 45 days, these differences are just one hurdle they’ll have to clear to end the funding fight in Washington.
Contributing: Ken Tran, USA TODAY
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: How long is the government funded? What is a continuing resolution?