House Passes Stopgap Spending Extension Through Feb. 18
Late Deal Sets Stage for Senate Vote Thursday Night
WASHINGTON — The House on Thursday evening passed a stopgap spending bill that, if the Senate follows suit, will keep the federal government running until Feb. 18.
The vote was 221-212 with one Republican joining Democrats in approving the measure.
It now moves on to the Senate, where a group of conservative Republicans were planning to slow the bill’s passage in a bid to get the Biden administration to roll back COVID-19 vaccine mandates for private businesses that employ over 100 employees.
Sen. Roger Marshall, R-Kan., the conservative leading the charge against the mandates, said the effort is all about preserving and creating jobs and protecting national security. If he and like-minded Republicans stalled the Senate vote, it would have set the stage for a short-term government shut down this weekend.
But early Thursday night Democrats and Republicans struck a deal paving the way to avert a shutdown.
As a result, the Senate will first vote Thursday night on an amendment advanced by the conservative Republicans to defund President Biden’s vaccine mandate for employers.
Democrats also agreed to allow the amendment vote at a simple-majority threshold, something the conservatives were holding out for.
In theory that means if they can convince every Republican and just one Democrat to vote for the amendment, it would be added to the funding bill.
The Senate will then move on to voting on the short-term funding bill, where they will need 60 votes to send it to president’s desk.
Addressing the GOP pushback on the continuing resolution in a floor speech Thursday morning, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said, “Democrats and most Republicans, including the Republican leader, have said they don’t want to see a shutdown.
“We hope cooler heads will prevail, but just as we saw with the NDAA, a few individual Republican senators appear determined to derail this important legislation because of their opposition to the president’s life-saving vaccine guidelines.
“Let’s be clear: If there is a shutdown, it will be a Republican anti-vaccine shutdown,” he said.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also weighed in on the matter Thursday, telling reporters at her weekly news conference that despite the rhetoric of some Republicans, she expects the Senate to pass the legislation in a timely fashion.
“How do they explain to the public that they’re shutting down the government because they don’t want people to be vaccinated?” she said.
“This is so silly. It’s silly that we have people who are anti-science, anti-vaccination, saying they’re going to shut down the government over that.”
Pelosi was then asked how the Democrats respond to those Republicans who want to slow the continuing resolution.
“Our message is that we have to respect governance,” she said. “And we have to respect science. Our members stand ready to keep the government open.”
After the vote in the House, House Appropriations Committee Chair Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., said, “While this short-term measure is needed to avoid a government shutdown, we must use this additional time to enact a bipartisan, bicameral omnibus appropriations bill.
“With a new deadline of Feb. 18, there is ample time for Republicans to join us for bipartisan, bicameral appropriations negotiations,” DeLauro said.
Later, she added, “A bipartisan agreement is imperative, and Democrats are ready to negotiate. As we extend funding to Feb. 18, Republicans must offer constructive proposals to address the critical issues facing the country by funding the federal government’s important work for the American people.”
Dan can be reached at email@example.com and at https://twitter.com/DanMcCue
In The News
WASHINGTON — House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., emerged with a smile from an hour of highly anticipated budget talks with... Read More
WASHINGTON — House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., emerged with a smile from an hour of highly anticipated budget talks with President Joe Biden on Wednesday, but gave no indication how quickly next steps will progress to avoid a default on the national debt. “The president and... Read More
WASHINGTON — Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned Congress on Friday that she will have to begin employing “extraordinary measures” next... Read More
WASHINGTON — Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned Congress on Friday that she will have to begin employing “extraordinary measures” next Thursday, Jan. 19, to continue to pay the nation’s bills. The notice from Yellen, spelled out in a letter to newly elected House Speaker Kevin McCarthy,... Read More
WASHINGTON — House Republicans who voted to eliminate a longstanding pay-as-you-go rule earlier this week are getting an earful from... Read More
WASHINGTON — House Republicans who voted to eliminate a longstanding pay-as-you-go rule earlier this week are getting an earful from colleagues in the Blue Dog Coalition of House Democrats. “This rules package reveals the hypocrisy of Republican posturing on fiscal issues,” said Rep. Ed Case, D-Hawaii,... Read More
WASHINGTON — The Senate passed a sweeping $1.7 trillion spending package Thursday, overcoming last minute objections related to the future... Read More
WASHINGTON — The Senate passed a sweeping $1.7 trillion spending package Thursday, overcoming last minute objections related to the future of Title 42, and sending the measure on to the House in time to avert a partial government shutdown. The measure, which clocks in at some... Read More
WASHINGTON (AP) — Congressional leaders unveiled a government-wide $1.7 trillion spending package early Tuesday that includes another large round of... Read More
WASHINGTON (AP) — Congressional leaders unveiled a government-wide $1.7 trillion spending package early Tuesday that includes another large round of aid to Ukraine, a nearly 10% boost in defense spending and roughly $40 billion to assist communities across the country recovering from drought, hurricanes and other... Read More
WASHINGTON — The Senate voted 71-19 on Thursday to clear a one-week continuing resolution to keep the government funded as... Read More
WASHINGTON — The Senate voted 71-19 on Thursday to clear a one-week continuing resolution to keep the government funded as lawmakers finish work on the omnibus spending package. Lawmakers now have through Dec. 23 to get the massive spending plan done. It is expected to be... Read More