Congress averted a government shutdown that could have disrupted a wide range of federal services starting Sunday when the House and then the Senate approved a stopgap spending bill to keep agencies funded through Nov. 17.

Just nine hours before a shutdown was scheduled to start at midnight Saturday, the House approved the continuing resolution, 335-91, with the support of 209 Democrats and 126 RepublicansSome 90 Republicans and one Democrat, Illinois Rep. Mike Quigley, voted against the bill.

The Senate approved the bill. 88-9, Saturday night with just three hours to spare before the government before the new fiscal year began at midnight. 

President Joe Biden signed the CR into law before midnight.

“I have very good news for the country,” Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said as he set up the Senate vote. 

He called the measure a “bridge CR” and said he and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., had “agreed to continue fighting for more economic and security aid for Ukraine.” Ukraine aid was omitted from the CR.

As expected, the legislation also lacked an extension of the 2018 farm bill, portions of which also expired Saturday. The more important deadline for the farm bill is Dec. 31, when income supports for dairy farmers would revert to a highly costly and outdated price-support law. 

House GOP leaders brought out the continuous resolution Saturday, the last day of fiscal 2023, after hardline conservatives had tanked a partisan stopgap bill the day before that would have made immediate cuts in spending and implemented extensive border security measures. 

The CR that the House passed Saturday would keep the government funded at fiscal 2023 levels for seven weeks and doesn't include the border security provisions. The measure does, however, fund some disaster assistance. 

“Today wasn't the choice we wanted to have,” House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., told reporters after the House vote.

“We tried to pass the most conservative stopgap measure possible. We had members from all sides of the aisle work on it. We put it on the floor, but unfortunately, we didn't have 218 Republicans that would vote for that to help us secure the border.”

The run-up to the vote was not without some drama as Democrats complained they hadn’t had enough time to review the legislation. At one point, Rep. Jamaal Bowman, D-N.Y., pulled a fire alarm in a congressional office building. 

GOP leaders said the House will resume work on its annual appropriations bills next week, starting with the Energy-Water bill that includes funding for the Army Corps of Engineers, and the Legislative Branch measure that funds the operations of Congress. 

GOP leaders haven’t said what they will do, if anything, about the Agriculture spending bill, which failed to advance on Thursday when 27 Republicans joined Democrats in voting against it.

Other bills that the House still needs to consider include the Interior-Environment bill that funds the Environmental Protection Agency, Interior Department and Forest Service.  

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It’s highly unusual for Congress to still be processing spending bills individually after the beginning of the fiscal year, but hardline conservatives have been demanding the chance to offer amendments that force their colleagues into tough votes on both spending and ideological issues. 

With those conservatives clearly in mind, House Majority Leader Steve Scalise, R-La., told reporters, “Believe me, this is not the end. This is the beginning of a continued fight to secure our border to get government spending under control and to get our economy back on track.”

McCarthy’s pivot to a relatively clean CR left some hardline conservatives essentially holding the bag. They voted with the leadership on the CR Friday only to watch a bill pass Saturday with heavy Democratic support. 

“I supported a resolution on Friday that would keep the government open – but would have cut spending levels and secured our southern border,” the chairman of the House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee, Andy Harris, R-Md., said in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter. 

“With a $2 trillion deficit, I can’t support keeping spending levels where they are and keeping our southern border wide open,” he said. 

USDA officials had said that a government shutdown would have required furloughing half of the department's 100,000 workers and would have prevented field offices from doing much more than emergency assistance. 

The impact would have been more muted at the Food and Drug Administration. Four of every five FDA employees would continue working even with a lapse in appropriations, the agency said. The agency said it would continue to respond to disease and outbreaks related to foodborne illness and infectious diseases.

Steve Davies contributed to this report.