Congress passes funding bill to avert shutdown

Bipartisan members of Senate leadership released a joint statement committing to vote on further funding for Ukraine aid “in the coming weeks,” after Democratic Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet delayed the Senate’s consideration of the short-term spending bill over concerns about the funding. 

“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,” it says. 

“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.

Earlier Saturday, Bennet told reporters a 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.

“I think it’s really important for us to send a message that the dysfunction that we have — in terms of this immediate question about opening or closing the government — doesn’t reflect on our bipartisan commitment to make sure that the United States stays in this battle and that we continue to support the Ukrainian people in their in their fight,” he said.

When asked if he trusts the House, Bennet said, “We’re gonna have to work every day between now and the next votes we take to make sure that the American people understand how important this is and and that Congress fulfills our obligation.” 

He said he is not aware of any timeline from leadership. 

Following the release of the bipartisan statement, Bennet in a separate statement 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.

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