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US extends government funding till mid-March

On 18 February, US President Joe Biden signed into law a continuing resolution (CR) that will fund the federal government, including the US Department of Defense, until 11 March.

The short-term measure, which replaces an earlier one that ran until 18 February, is the third CR that Congress and Biden have approved for fiscal year (FY) 2022, which began on 1 October 2021. The CRs are needed because the politically divided Congress has not completed its full-year appropriations bills for FY 2022.

Lawmakers said they are making progress on the appropriations bills and are optimistic they will reach a deal before the latest CR runs out.

Senator Patrick Leahy, a Vermont Democrat who chairs the US Senate Committee on Appropriations, dismissed the widely discussed idea of passing a full-year CR, saying such an approach would force the government to fund “outdated priorities”. For example, a full-year CR would provide “USD3.3 billion to train and arm the now-defunct Afghan security forces”, Leahy said.

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