Authorities shutdown averted as Congress passes short-term funding invoice

Washington — Each chambers of Congress on Thursday handed a stopgap measure that can fund federal companies into mid-February, sending the laws to President Biden’s desk and avoiding a vacation season partial shutdown. 

The measure handed the Senate 69-28 with substantial GOP assist, hours after passing the Home 221-212. Congressman Adam Kinzinger supplied the only Republican vote for the invoice within the Home. 

“Girls and gents, I’m comfortable to report the federal government stays open!” Senate Majority Chief Chuck Schumer mentioned on the Senate ground after the measure handed. 

The invoice, referred to as a short-term persevering with decision, extends federal funding at present ranges by way of February 18, however supplies a further $7 billion throughout 4 companies to help with relocation efforts of Afghan refugees. An earlier short-term persevering with decision permitted by Congress in late September extends federal funding by way of Friday.

Home Appropriations Committee Chairman Rosa DeLauro DeLauro mentioned in a press release the brand new stopgap measure consists of “nearly no adjustments to current funding or coverage” and permits the appropriations course of to maneuver towards a last funding deal. Senator Richard Shelby of Alabama, the highest Republican on the Senate Appropriations Committee, mentioned he’s “happy” lawmakers got here to a consensus on the short-term funding invoice, however urged appropriators to “get severe” about ending payments funding particular person companies.

He mentioned in a press release that this work might solely start if each side agree to start the 2022 fiscal yr the place fiscal yr 2021 completed. “Meaning sustaining legacy riders, eliminating poison capsules, and getting severe in regards to the funding we’re going to present for our nation’s protection. If that does not occur, we’ll be having this similar dialog in February.”

The White Home urged “swift passage” of the invoice, it mentioned in a press release, and praised the $7 billion for Afghan refugee relocation efforts. It additionally urged lawmakers to succeed in consensus on particular person appropriations payments to keep away from having to go one more persevering with decision. 

Some Republicans tried to object to the short-term funding measure over the Biden administration’s COVID-19 vaccine requirement, and a Senate vote over an modification to do away with that requirement failed. However Senate Minority Chief Mitch McConnell instructed on Fox Information that shutting down the federal government over the vaccine guidelines would simply “create chaos and uncertainty.”

“We’re not going to close the federal government down,” he mentioned. “It is mindless for anybody. Virtually nobody on both facet thinks it is a good suggestion.”

Pelosi definitely agreed with that and mentioned the supply to strip funding for the vaccine requirement would have been a non-starter within the Home.

“We’re not going to go for his or her anti-vaxxing,” she mentioned. “So when you suppose that is how we’ll maintain the federal government open, overlook that.”

Senate Majority Chief Chuck Schumer known as the persevering with decision a “good compromise” that enables appropriators to proceed their negotiations on appropriation payments to fund the federal government. 

Congress has different hurdles forward within the last weeks of the yr, although. Along with the December 3 shutdown deadline, lawmakers should go the annual $768 billion protection invoice and lift or droop the debt restrict within the coming weeks. And the protection invoice, known as the Nationwide Protection Authorization Act, is at the moment stalled within the Senate after Senator Marco Rubio, a Republican from Florida, blocked a deal on amendments.

Zak Hudak contributed to this report

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