Washington- The House approved a short-term measure Wednesday night that extends funding for federal agencies for a week, giving Congress additional time to finish crafting a massive long-term spending package. The vote was 224-201, with nine Republicans joining the Democrats.
House Democratsthe text of the bill, known as a continuing resolution, on Tuesday amid bipartisan and bicameral efforts to reach consensus on the broader proposal to fund the US government for most of 2023. that provides a path to negotiate the final details of the roughly $1.7 trillion overhead spending package.
The current stopgap funding measure expires on December 16 and lawmakers must act before then to avoid a partial government shutdown. House Republican leaders urged their members to vote against the legislation, calling it an “attempt to buy additional time for a massive spending bill that House Republicans have not had a seat on.” negotiating table.”
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Congress must pass the temporary funding bill “as soon as possible” and noted that the Senate must be prepared to “act quickly” after House approval.
Passing legislation that keeps federal agencies running is one item on Congress’s legislative to-do list before the end of the year. House and Senate Appropriations leaders from both parties have urged adoption of the package that funds the government through the end of the fiscal year, September 30, and have expressed optimism that an agreement will be reached on the legislation.
Schumer applauded the announcement that negotiators had rallied around the framework, calling it “important and welcome news” in remarks on the Senate floor.
“Congress now has a road map for funding the government before the conclusion of the 117th Congress, something the vast majority of us want to see,” he said. “We still have a long way to go, but a framework is a big step in the right direction.”
Schumer said the one-year package will ensure that bills passed by Congress this year, such as a plan toof semiconductor chips and a law that Veterans who developed illnesses due to their exposure to toxic substances from on US military bases, they are funded and implemented.
“A CR won’t fund these bills, but a blanket agreement will, and they were all bipartisan with great support on both sides of the aisle,” he said.
Details of the framework for the overall spending package were not announced, but the two sides have been at odds over domestic spending levels for the upcoming fiscal year. Republicans have opposed increasing spending for national programs, citing increases through other laws enacted this year, such as the Democrats’ sweeping policy.. Republican negotiators have also been pushing for defense spending to match the $858 billion set in a defense policy bill. In the past week.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell indicated Tuesday that the overall spending package would meet the funding level set out in the defense authorization bill, saying he believed negotiators were getting “very close.” to a long-term measure that would be “broadly attractive.”
Still, he set a December 22 deadline for Congress to pass the legislative package, as Republicans did not plan to return to Washington between Christmas and New Years. If lawmakers fail to pass the sweeping plan, McConnell said Republicans would be “happy” to pass another short-term bill that funds the government through early 2023.
McConnell also warned Democrats on Wednesday not to stray from the framework and add provisions to the overall package that would alienate Republican support.
“It will take seriousness and good faith on both sides to produce real legislation that follows the framework,” he told the Senate floor. “Poison pills, especially demands from the far left to overturn longstanding and common sense policies, will need to be kept out of the process. And even then, the schedule will continue to make this a challenging sprint.”
With Republicans poised to take over the House in the next Congress, Democrats are working to get the master plan across the finish line to prevent Republican lawmakers from scrapping some of President Biden’s priorities from a package.
the president hasto provide nearly $40 billion for Ukraine in the war against Russia and $10 billion to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and other infectious diseases. Schumer has pledged to include emergency aid to Ukraine in a comprehensive package, as well as legislation reforming the Electoral Count Law.
“If we can reach an agreement on a bus, I am optimistic that these bills, which are as important to both Democrats and Republicans, the ECA and funding for Ukraine, can become law,” he said.
But some House Republicans have voiced opposition to passing more money for Ukraine, making it unclear whether a GOP-led House would pass a funding bill that would include emergency assistance for the country. Republican lawmakers have also long opposed increased pandemic-related funding.
Still, Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama, the top Republican appropriator in the Senate, suggested in a statement that he believes the framework agreement reached Tuesday night would allow Congress to meet McConnell’s timetable.
“If all goes well, we should be able to finish a general appropriations package by December 23,” he said.