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The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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FRESHFARM workers ratify union agreement
By Max Porter, Contributing News Editor • February 15, 2024

Congress evades government shutdown with stopgap funding

President Biden signed the short-term funding bill into law Saturday night.
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Cloudy skies hang over the U.S. Capitol.

Congress passed a stopgap government funding bill Saturday, averting a government shutdown for the next 45 days.

President Joe Biden signed a short-term funding bill — passed by the Senate less than three hours before the shutdown would have gone into effect — into law Saturday night. The funding resolution means student interns in federal offices can continue their work until at least Nov. 17, the deadline for Congress to either fund the government through next year or issue another stopgap measure.

Officials announced that GW would have operated normally under a shutdown last week, but students interning at government offices may have lost work.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy struggled to work with the far-right flank of his party, who wanted dramatic spending cuts, to avoid the shutdown. The speaker eventually teamed with Democrats to approve the temporary spending plan. The measure passed the House with a vote of 335 to 91, with 90 Republicans and one Democrat in opposition.

McCarthy’s move may have put his speakership at risk. Far-right Republicans who warned McCarthy against teaming up with Democrats are reportedly looking to oust the California Republican.

Officials said in an email to students Friday that a potential shutdown would not affect students’ financial aid but could have delayed military-affiliated students’ education and tuition assistance packages, which are offered through the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense. GW’s Office of Military and Veteran Services can provide “emergency funding,” according to the email.

Several government interns expressed fears that beyond the interruption of valuable professional experience, the shutdown would stop sources of income or hurt their chances of gaining class credits. Government interns were temporarily out of work during the 35-day 2018-19 shutdown.

“For the most part, there’s not really another option for us,” junior and House intern Josh Blaustein said.

A shutdown would also cause the closure of federal museums in the D.C. area. A near-shutdown in 2021 nearly disrupted the fall Commencement meant to honor the Classes of 2020 and 2021, but lawmakers reached a funding deal in time to prevent a shutdown.

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About the Contributor
Erika Filter, News Editor
Erika Filter is a senior majoring in international affairs from Carson City, Nevada. She leads the Metro beat as one of The Hatchet's 2023-2024 news editors and previously served as the assistant news editor for the Student Government beat.
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