Finance

House sends stopgap funding bill to avoid government shutdown to Biden’s desk

The House on Friday passed a short-term funding bill to keep the government running for the next few months, narrowly avoiding a shutdown just hours until the midnight deadline.

The Democratic-led House voted 230-201, largely along party lines, to advance the legislation as GOP leadership urged their members to reject the bill over disagreements about the timing and policy areas like border funds. 

The legislation, known as a continuing resolution, passed the Senate on Thursday and now heads to President Biden’s desk for approval. 

The measure will allow the government to remain funded at the current spending levels through Dec. 16. Negotiators say it will give them more time to work out a larger agreement over how to fund the government for fiscal 2023, which begins on Saturday.

The legislation also includes more than $12 billion in security and financial assistance for Ukraine to defend itself from Russia’s ongoing invasion, as well as funding for disaster relief. The White House requested emergency funding in both areas earlier this month.

More than 200 Republicans voted against the bill on Friday as GOP leaders accuse Democrats of not doing more to address border security, supply chains and inflation. Republicans in both chambers have also taken issue with the length of the continuing resolution, with many pushing to put off working out spending levels for the coming fiscal year until January, when the next Congress begins.

Republicans are hopeful about their chances of taking back control of both chambers in the November midterms.

The pushback provides just a glimpse of the obstacles that have threatened the funding package’s path to passage in recent weeks.

The House vote on Friday comes days after lawmakers cleared one of the biggest hurdles to Congress greenlighting the bill: a permitting reform proposal offered by Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.).

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) has run into road blocks with his legislative agenda due to Republican opposition.

Manchin had previously struck a deal with Democratic leadership to use the must-pass funding bill as a vehicle for the permitting reform measure, aimed at speeding up the approval process for energy infrastructure projects, in exchange for his vote on Democrats’ sweeping tax, climate and health care bill last month.

The proposal was stripped from the funding bill this week following growing opposition from Democrats and Republicans that threatened final passage of the overall legislation.

More than a handful of Senate Democrats had called for the continuing resolution and the energy proposal to be delinked after their colleagues in the House began to line up against it over concerns it would undercut environmental reviews.

At the same time, Republicans argued the reforms didn’t go far enough while drawing red lines around the issue. 

The package passed on Friday also excludes supplemental funding for the nation’s coronavirus and monkeypox response, despite a request by the White House for billions of dollars, after Senate Republicans opposed the ask.

The back-and-forth underscores the challenges Democrats have faced in passing funding priorities in Congress, with razor-thin majorities in both chambers.

Anticipation is building on Capitol Hill around the coming midterm elections, which members on both sides say will likely be a major factor in larger funding talks for fiscal 2023.

The House is scheduled to begin its weeks-long recess when members leave Washington on Friday, and it’s unclear how much work appropriators will be able to get done between now and November. 

Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee, told The Hill on Thursday that she thinks Republicans “want to wait until after the elections” to hash out spending, though she added she thinks “there’ll be conversation” in the meantime.

But lawmakers will face a time crunch after the midterms to finish work on the fiscal 2023 spending bill, setting the stage for another shutdown showdown in December as Congress also stares down an end-of-year deadline for a defense authorization bill and other measures.

Pressed about the chances of Congress having an omnibus spending bill by the next deadline, Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, told The Hill on Thursday: “If the past is any indication of what’s going to happen in the future, we’d be lucky for that to happen.”

Tags Biden Continuing resolution funding bill Government shutdown Joe Manchin Rosa DeLauro stopgap bill

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