Stopgap Funding Bill

To avert a government shutdown, the US President Donald Trump signed a stopgap funding bill. A measure to safeguard the government from running out of the funds for the functioning of federal programmes. By increasing the time limit, the government can function for two more days, also giving time to negotiators to reach an agreement on the Covid-19 relief packages.

Key Points for UPSC Prelims

Federal Funding and Government shutdown

The US Congress passes 12 appropriation bills annually, during every fiscal year beginning on October, 1. This in turn, provides the government to spend funds from the US Treasury for specific purposes. The annual appropriations are limited to specific fiscal year. It expires after the fiscal ends and cannot be carried-forward to the next or used for new programmes.

Whenever the US Congress fails to fund the government it results in a government shutdown. In such an event, the government stops all non-essential services, except essential services such as the armed forces and police departments continue to function.

US Congress

The US legislature known as Congress was established by Article-1 of the Constitution. The Congress is the sole authority to enact legislation which includes declaring war, the right to confirm or reject presidential appointments and other investigative powers. The United States Congress is composed of the House of Representatives and the Senate.

The lower house, House of Representatives consists of 435 elected members.

The presiding officer of the chamber becomes the Speaker of the House. Elected by the Representatives, he/she is third in the line of succession to the presidency. The House has several exclusive powers to it, such as to introduce revenue bills, impeach federal officials, and in the case of an electoral college tie, also elect the president.

The upper house, the Senate consists of 100 senators. The vice president of the United States is President of the Senate who may cast the crucial vote in case of a tie in the Senate. The Senate holds the sole power to confirm the President’s appointments which require consent, and to approve agreements.

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