Tue. Apr 23rd, 2024

Senate inches toward a vote on government funding bill amid fears of brief shutdown

By 37ci3 Mar8,2024



WASHINGTON — The Senate on Friday moved to a final vote on a major government funding bill to keep several agencies operating through September. But the timing of the final vote remains open and the possibility of a short shutdown remains.

Friday’s procedural vote passed 63-35 in the late afternoon, sparking up to 30 hours of debate. But expediting it requires the approval of all 100 senators, and many Republicans have called for a vote on the amendments, including on immigration. events looks like poison pills. Talks continued before midnight, with aides unsure whether they would be able to finish before a partial government shutdown takes effect on Saturday.

“Unfortunately, it’s gotten a little complicated,” said Senate Minority Leader John Thune, RSD. “We hope we can prevent it [a shutdown] but it will involve Democrats being willing to work with us on some amendment votes.

Senate leaders face a difficult balance: If the amendment comes up and passes, it would scuttle the deal and send the bill back to the House.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said Friday: “We have until tonight for the Senate to send an appropriations package to the president or the government will begin to shut down.” “I hope that my Republican colleagues will work with us on a reasonable deal so that we can get this funding package on the president’s desk before the shutdown today.”

A partial government shutdown will affect the Departments of Justice, Commerce, Agriculture, Transportation, and many other parts of the government. But if senators miss the midnight deadline, the weekend is expected to last less than 24 hours with limited impact. The Senate has the vote to pass the funding bills, but members who want to vote on amendments can delay passage until Saturday evening.

The 1050 page size It’s a package of six appropriations bills negotiated by Schumer, House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., President Joe Biden and top insiders in both parties and chambers.

Closure He passed the house on Wednesday by a vote of 339-85. When the vote takes place, it will go to Biden’s desk after the all-certain Senate passage. must be signed by law.

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, the vice chairman of appropriations, warned there would be a “partial government shutdown” if the bill didn’t pass by midnight.

“Do we want to learn that a veteran who has served his country bravely and faithfully and is now trying to file a claim for benefits has the doors of the Veterans Benefits Administration closed in his face?” he asked. “Is this what we want it to be?”

Next funding date: March 22

There are more difficult tasks ahead. The remaining six appropriations bills, which include contentious issues such as how to fund the Department of Homeland Security, are expected to expire in just two weeks, on March 22.

Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., the top Democrat in the House, said the remaining six bills “are in various stages of negotiation” as “staff on both sides of the aisle, in both chambers, are working on them.” “

“We worked really hard to do these things,” DeLauro said. “I’m optimistic about completing the next six.”

Schumer praised the bipartisan work on the first six bills.

“The process is never easy in a divided government, but with hard work, cooperation and perseverance, if we work together before other outside and often disruptive issues, good things can happen,” he said, adding, “note that most Representatives In the House, both parties, even the majority of Republicans, supported this law.

For his part, Johnson said the bill contained conservative wins, including cuts to the FBI, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. He said Republicans have achieved this with “divided government and a historically small House majority.”

Democrats highlighted the package’s funding for WIC, food assistance for women, infants and children and other wins.

Biden hopes to sign the legislation before a partial government shutdown at 12:01 a.m. ET on Saturday.





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