White House urges Congress vote to avoid another budget shutdown

White House says aware of case of US soldier detained in Russia
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The White House asked Congress Thursday to quickly vote on a budget extension to avoid a so-called shutdown, which could paralyze nearly the entire US federal government in the coming weeks.

“It is clear that a short-term continuing resolution (CR) will be needed next month,” the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) said in a statement.

Such a vote is necessary “to avoid severe disruptions to government services” in the new fiscal year, which begins October 1, the statement added.

“We must fund vital programs for American people and meet emergency needs,” White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre said, warning that without a speedy vote, food assistance programs could be threatened.

“There’s no reason why Congress cannot do their job,” she added.

Control of the US Congress is split, with Democrats holding the majority in the Senate and Republicans in charge of the House of Representatives, adding uncertainty to any potential agreement.

This is the second time in recent months that the world’s largest economy has faced serious financial uncertainty thanks to political conflict.

The United States barely avoided defaulting on a debt payment in June after intense negotiations between the administration of President Joe Biden and congressional Republicans.

While a debt default would have been unprecedented, the country has faced several government shutdowns in the past, some lasting several weeks.

This time, the debate centers around an extension of about $20 billion that the White House requested earlier this month.

In particular, Biden is hoping Congress will authorize an additional $13 billion in aid to Ukraine.

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Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.

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