Congress Averts a Partial Shutdown of the Government with a Short-Term Funding Bill

Lawmakers in the House avoided a partial government shutdown after approving a short-term funding bill to last until December 23. The weeklong extension was approved by a 224-201 vote, with nine congressional Republicans and all Democrats voting in favor of it. 

The bill allows lawmakers one week to iron out the details of the roughly 1.7 trillion dollars long-term spending bill. After a compromise is reached, the bill will go to the Senate for a vote and then to President Biden to be signed into law. 

GOP lawmakers overwhelmingly oppose the short-term extension, saying it would allow a large spending bill to be passed right before Republicans take control of the House and have increased leverage on spending negotiations. Democrat House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Representative Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut announced the framework that provides a path forward to put an omnibus in place next week, with the appropriations committees from the Senate and House working to negotiate the details. 

Senator Patrick Leahy, Democrat from Vermont, DeLauro’s counterpart, said they worked with retiring Republican Senator Richard Shelby of Alabama to achieve a “bipartisan, bicameral framework that should allow us to finish an omnibus appropriations bill that can pass the House and Senate and be signed into law by the president.”

The House passed the short-term funding bill to avert the government’s shutdown, which punched Friday’s funding deadline to next week to allow lawmakers additional time to strike a deal on spending for the remainder of the fiscal year 2023. 

Nine Republicans voted along with Democrats in support of the measure after leadership in the GOP urged members to oppose the legislation, including Representatives Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio, Liz Cheney of Wyoming, New York’s John Katko, Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania, New York’s Chris Jacobs, Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington, Steve Womack of Arkansas and Michigan’s Fred Upton.

House Minority Whip Scalise recommended Republicans vote “no”

Republican House Minority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana’s office sent out a notice recommending Republicans vote “no” on the bill calling it an “attempt to buy additional time for a massive lame-duck spending bill in which House Republicans have had no seat at the negotiating table.”

The Republicans face internal divisions over the way to move forward with funding the federal government. Some members of the GOP-led Congress to have more say on how the government should be funded in the fiscal year 2023, which recently began in October. It is projected that Republicans will have a 222-212 majority in the chamber at the beginning of the next Congress in January. 

Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California noted that top appropriators in the Senate — Republican Richard Shelby of Alabama and Senator Patrick Leahy, a Democrat from Vermont — will retire at the end of this term.