Congress averts shutdown and McCarthy faces speakership fight

By Maureen Chowdhury and Matt Meyer, CNN

Updated 6:01 PM ET, Sun October 1, 2023
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8:10 a.m. ET, October 1, 2023

Bipartisan Senate leadership says they support a vote for more Ukraine funding "in the coming weeks"

From CNN's Morgan Rimmer

The Capitol Building is seen on Saturday.
The Capitol Building is seen on Saturday. Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Bipartisan members of Senate leadership on Saturday committed to a vote on further funding for Ukraine aid "in the coming weeks."

"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," bipartisan leadership said in a joint statement.

“We support Ukraine’s efforts to defend its sovereignty against (Russian President Vladimir) Putin’s brazen aggression, and we join a strong bipartisan majority of our colleagues in this essential work. With the eyes of our partners, allies, and adversaries upon us, we keenly understand the importance of American leadership and are committed to strengthening it from Europe to the Indo-Pacific,” according to the statement.

Some background: On Saturday, Democratic Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet delayed the Senate's consideration of the short-term spending bill over concerns about the lack of funding in it. The bill eventually passed, with a final vote of 88 to 9.

Bennet told reporters the bipartisan statement was exactly what he had hoped to see when he objected on the stopgap bill to keep the government open due to its lack of Ukraine funding.

In a separate statement, Bennet addressed the need for Senate leadership to reaffirm support for Ukraine.

"I objected tonight to proceeding to the Continuing Resolution because it failed to provide additional money for Ukraine. Senate Leadership needed to reaffirm our bipartisan commitment to sustain funding for Ukraine. The Senate Leadership has released such a statement, and, as a result, I voted to keep the government open," he said in the statement.

CNN's Haley Talbot contributed to this post.

8:09 a.m. ET, October 1, 2023

These are the 9 Republican senators who voted against the stopgap funding bill

From CNN's Morgan Rimmer

The final vote in the US Senate to pass a stopgap bill to keep the government funded through November was 88 to 9.

The nine Republican senators who voted against the stopgap funding bill are:

  • Tennessee Sen. Marsha Blackburn
  • Indiana Sen. Mike Braun
  • Texas Sen. Ted Cruz
  • Tennessee Sen. Bill Hagerty
  • Utah Sen. Mike Lee
  • Kansas Sen. Roger Marshall
  • Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul
  • Missouri Sen. Eric Schmitt
  • Ohio Sen. JD Vance

8:09 a.m. ET, October 1, 2023

Congress passed a short-term funding bill averting a government shutdown on Saturday. Here's what to know

From CNN staff

After a whirlwind day, a government shutdown was prevented after Congress passed a stopgap funding measure on Saturday night ahead of a midnight deadline.

President Joe Biden signed the bill late Saturday night.

Catch up on yesterday's events here:

How it came together: House Speaker Kevin McCarthy announced the stopgap proposal Saturday morning, a move that came after weeks of infighting among House Republicans and a failed effort to pass a GOP stopgap bill in the chamber. The bill passed the House with an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote, and it then was sent to the Senate. The final vote was 88 to 9.

The bill will keep the government open through November 17 and includes natural disaster aid but not additional funding for Ukraine or border security.

Concerns over Ukraine funding: The stopgap bill originally included funding for Ukraine to help Kyiv fight the full-scale invasion from Russia, but the funds were dropped after some conservatives raised objections during negotiations.

Democratic Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet briefly held up the vote on the bill Saturday after he objected over concerns about the lack of funding in it. Bipartisan members of Senate leadership released a joint statement committing to vote on further funding for Ukraine aid "in the coming weeks."

House Democratic leadership said in a statement Saturday that they expect McCarthy to bring a separate Ukraine aid bill to vote when the House returns. 

“We cannot under any circumstances allow American support for Ukraine to be interrupted,” Biden said in a statement Saturday night.

McCarthy's fate unknown: The decision by McCarthy to put a bill on the floor that would win support from Democrats could put his speakership at risk as hardline conservatives continue to threaten a vote to oust him from the top House leadership post.

McCarthy was defiant after the vote, daring his detractors to try to push him out as he argued he did what was needed to govern effectively.

“If somebody wants to make a motion against me, bring it,” McCarthy told CNN’s Manu Raju at a news conference. “There has to be an adult in the room. I am going to govern with what’s best for this country.”

Hardliners are expected to force a vote to remove McCarthy as speaker, just “not yet,” according to a Republican lawmaker.

Fire alarm incident: New York Rep. Jamaal Bowman pulled a fire alarm in a House office building on Saturday morning shortly before the House was scheduled to vote on the funding bill, which he said was an accident.

“I was trying to get to a door. I thought the alarm would open the door, and I pulled the fire alarm to open the door by accident,” he told reporters.

“I was just trying to get to my vote, and the door that’s usually open wasn’t open, it was closed,” Bowman added.

House Administration Committee Chair Bryan Steil, who first revealed the incident, said "an investigation into why it was pulled is underway."

McCarthy said the House ethics committee should look into it, while GOP Rep. Lisa McClain told CNN that she was circulating a resolution to censure Bowman.