Government shutdown averted after House, Senate pass funding bill
The bill will keep the government funded through mid-December.
A bill to avert a federal government shutdown passed the House on Friday, just hours before the midnight deadline.
The House voted 230-201 to pass the stopgap legislation, which will keep the government funded through mid-December -- past the midterm elections.
The bill now heads to President Joe Biden's desk. He'll need to sign it before the end of the day Friday to avert a shutdown.
The Senate voted 72-25 to advance the legislation on Thursday afternoon after some stumbles earlier this week over energy permitting reform.
The legislation moved forward after Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., agreed to drop the provision -- which was opposed by some progressives and most Republicans -- from the continuing resolution. All 25 "no" votes came from the GOP side of the aisle.
The bill includes an additional $12 billion in military and economic aid for Ukraine, $1 billion in heating and utility assistance for low-income families, $20 million in response to the water crisis in Jackson, Mississippi, and includes a five-year reauthorization for Food and Drug Administration user fees.
The measure also includes money for Federal Emergency Management Agency's main disaster relief fund, an infusion that comes amid Hurricane Ian's leveling of southwest Florida and after Hurricane Fiona's devastation on Puerto Rico.
In floor remarks just before the vote, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., highlighted some of the emergency appropriations included on the bill, including aid for Ukraine and to assist with the water crisis in Jackson, Mississippi. She also highlighted a relatively small amount of funding that could be immediately deployed to assist with Hurricane Ian recovery effort, but noted that even more funds will likely be needed.
"This legislation is a package for the people. I urge a strong bipartisan yes on the continuing resolution so that we may swiftly send this bill to the President's desk," Pelosi said on the floor.
What's not included in the legislation is the billions of dollars the White House requested to continue its COVID-19 response. The Biden administration requested $22.4 billion for vaccines, treatments and next-generation research.
"This legislation avoids a very bad thing --shutting down the government -- and does a lot of good things: money for the people of Ukraine, funding for communities reeling from natural disasters, aid to families with their heating bills, just to name a few," Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said just before the vote.
"Millions and millions of people can breathe easy," Schumer added.
Republicans tried to get the continuing resolution to lapse early next year, rather than mid-December, in the hopes that the GOP will gain control of the House after the November midterm elections.
Sen. Schumer announced Thursday that the Senate will not return for its next vote until Nov. 14, giving members time to campaign in their home states from now until Election Day.
When the Senate returns for the lame duck session, it will have a hefty to-do list to tackle. Members will have to pass the National Defense Authorization Act, fund the government, confirm nominees and potentially take up legislation to protect same sex marriage.
Schumer warned of an "extremely busy" final two months of the calendar year.
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