It’s that point once more: Funding for the federal authorities was set to expire Friday night time, December 3 – and with it, the extension on the nationwide debt restrict. So as soon as once more, Congress put all different considerations apart to wrangle over the federal working finances, lest the federal government partially shut down till the problem is resolved. A deal was struck pretty rapidly this time, and each legislative homes accredited a persevering with decision in dinner time. Now they’ve till February 18 to get FY2022 squared away – or, on the very least, give you one other stopgap answer and kick that may simply a little farther down the street.
Kicking the Can Again
Continuing resolutions (CRs) are non permanent funding measures to stave off a shutdown, and it has typically been stated upon their passage that lawmakers kicked the can down the street moderately than addressing the actual points. Be that as it might, Congress did, no less than, kick the can a little more durable this time, sending it a good two months away.
In what quantities to a party-line vote, H.R. 6119 cleared the decrease chamber 221-212, with solely a single Republican – Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, who isn’t working for re-election – voting in help. There was a movement to rethink, however the subsequent movement to desk it was rapidly accredited. It then cleared the Senate with a far more bipartisan 69-28.
This new CR will fund the federal government on the present ranges, however with an added $7 billion for refugees from Afghanistan. The lack of change is intentional, because the hope is it would drive Congress to craft a full-year omnibus. As for the two-month continuation, that size of time was chosen to present of us from either side of the aisle and each homes loads of area to work out a actual deal moderately than merely one other CR. As Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) put it after the CR cleared the House, that is simply shopping for time to barter a full-year invoice. So, then, the hope is that a shutdown might be averted for now, and by the following time it comes up, there will likely be a full funding package deal able to go.
All About the Senate, Again
There ought to by no means actually have been any query that the Democrat-led initiative would clear the House. Even with solely party-line help, it was assured as long as a handful of Democrats didn’t insurgent. The 221 to 212 consequence ought to shock nobody.
All alongside, the story has been the Senate. Could the CR clear the higher chamber, or would the GOP hinder? Some Republicans have been planning to delay the passage of the stopgap invoice until it blocked funding for the enforcement of President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandates, that are at present tied up within the courts. Sens. Mike Lee (R-UT), Ted Cruz (R-TX), and Roger Marshall (R-KS) have been main this motion. They stated they’d gladly settle for a vote on an modification defunding the mandates so long as it solely required a easy majority to be adopted.
Marshall tried for a related modification to the final CR, but it surely required 60 votes to cross and failed alongside celebration strains. If such an modification might be had with solely a easy majority, there was a likelihood Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) would possibly push it over the road. He opposed Marshall’s modification final time, however didn’t disclose how he would vote this go round. Manchin had, nevertheless, acknowledged that whereas he has been in favor of a vaccine mandate for the federal authorities, he’s much less enthused about it for the non-public sector, and that’s probably what fueled the hope of these Republicans. Indeed, Manchin revealed Dec. 2 that he’s supporting a invoice to outlaw Biden’s vaccine mandate on companies with over 100 workers. “Let me be clear, I do not support any government vaccine mandate on private businesses. That’s why I have cosponsored and will strongly support a bill to overturn the federal government vaccine mandate for private businesses,” the senator stated in a assertion. “I have long said we should incentivize, not penalize, private employers whose responsibility it is to protect their employees from COVID-19,” Manchin asserted.
In the tip, opposition to the CR was dispelled pretty rapidly, and the Senate reacted quicker and with much less partisan bickering than the House. Now Congress has one other couple of months earlier than they need to both choose that may up or kick it as soon as once more. Whether they use that point to get the job completed – or simply put it off till the final minute, as they typically do – is one other query completely.
~ Read extra from James Fite.