Senate passes week-long government funding bill, averting partial shutdown

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) speaks during a press conference following a Senate Democrat Luncheon at the U.S. Capitol September 28, 2022 in Washington, DC.

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WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate has approved a one-week extension of federal government funding, averting a partial government shutdown that was scheduled to begin Saturday.

The measure, which passed 71-19, gives lawmakers an extra week to negotiate and pass a comprehensive bill to fund federal agencies through the fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30.

The U.S. House of Representatives passed its version of the one-week extension on Wednesday by a vote of 224 to 201, with nine Republicans crossing party lines to back the bill.

While that vote was technically bipartisan, only one returning Republican voted in favour. The other eight GOP votes came from members leaving Congress at the end of the year, either in retirement or because they lost re-election.

The Senate was under pressure Thursday to pass the bill without delay and without objections from individual senators who could delay a vote under the fast-track process used to pass the measure.

“We should act quickly to avoid a shutdown today, without any of the unwanted hubbub that has caused shutdowns in years past,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said in the Senate Thursday morning.

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Schumer promised the two sides would spend the rest of the day working to get the seven-day “continuing resolution” or CR bill completed.

The Senate vote on the interim CR took place in the shadow of much larger negotiations currently underway on a massive omnibus spending bill that would fund all federal agencies through the end of fiscal year 2023 in September. next.

On Tuesday night, the House’s chief appropriation official, Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., and the senses. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., and Richard Shelby, R-Ala., top Senate Republicans and Democrats. , announced that they had reached a framework agreement to begin serious negotiations on an omnibus bill.

All three expressed optimism that an omnibus bill could be drafted and passed before Congress leaves for Christmas on Dec. 23.

Notably absent from the announcement, however, was the House’s top Republican official, Representative Kay Granger of Texas.

House Republicans have little incentive to help Democrats pass spending bills before they take a majority on Jan. 3.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has publicly advocated for a series of CR bills that would not fund the government until January, allowing him and his new majority to tackle a proposed broader spending law when they carry more weight.

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