Домой United States USA — Political Shutdown risk eases as Senate pushes toward funding vote

Shutdown risk eases as Senate pushes toward funding vote

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The risk of a short-term government shutdown appeared to be easing late Thursday as the Senate pushed toward final approval of a bill that would fund the government through …
By KEVIN FREKING and LISA MASCARO WASHINGTON (AP) — The risk of a short-term government shutdown appeared to be easing late Thursday as the Senate pushed toward final approval of a bill that would fund the government through Feb.18, sending the measure to President Joe Biden for his signature. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer told reporters it was “looking good” that senators would pass the bill and “make sure the government stays open.” The measure has been held up for days, and it was not immediately clear how the Senate would resolve a standoff with some conservative Republicans who threatened to stall the bill in hopes of forcing a debate over Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandates. Some GOP senators said they would not support an expedited vote on the spending measure without also taking up a vote that would prevent funding for enforcement of a vaccine mandate for large employers. But a vote was expected later Thursday. The funding agreement among congressional leaders announced earlier in the day would keep the government running for 11 more weeks, generally at current spending levels, while adding $7 billion to aid Afghanistan evacuees. The Democratic-led House passed the measure Thursday by a 221-212 vote. The Republican leadership urged members to vote no; the lone GOP vote for the bill came from Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger. In the House, lawmakers bemoaned the short-term fix and blamed the opposing party for the lack of progress on this year’s spending bills. Rep. Rosa DeLauro, chair of the House Appropriations Committee, said the measure would, however, allow for negotiations on a package covering the full budget year through September. “Make no mistake, a vote against this continuing resolution is a vote to shut government down,” DeLauro said during the House debate. Before the House acted, Biden said he had spoken with Senate leaders and he played down fears of a shutdown. “There is a plan in place unless somebody decides to be totally erratic, and I don’t think that will happen,” Biden said. The House vote sent the measure to the Senate. Conservative Republicans opposed to Biden’s vaccine rules want Congress to take a hard stand against the mandated shots for workers at larger businesses, even if that means shutting down federal offices over the weekend by blocking a request that would expedite a final vote on the spending bill.

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