Government shutdown averted after House and Senate pass funding bill

A bill to avoid a federal government shutdown passed the House on Friday, just hours before the midnight deadline.

The House voted 230 to 201 to pass the interim legislation, which will maintain government funding until mid-December – after the midterm elections.

The bill will now head to President Biden’s office. He will have to sign it before the end of the day on Friday to avoid a stoppage.

The Senate voted 72 to 25 to push the legislation forward Thursday afternoon after some stumble earlier this week over energy enabling reform.

The legislation moved forward after Sen. Joe Manchin, DW.Va., agreed to remove the provision — which some progressives and most Republicans opposed — from the continuing resolution. All 25 “no” votes came from the GOP side of the aisle.

The entrance to the Senate stands at the Capitol in Washington, September 18, 2021.

J. Scott Applewhite/AP, FILE

Bill includes an additional $12 billion in military and economic aid for Ukraine, $1 billion in heat and utility assistance for low-income families, $20 million in crisis response water in Jackson, Mississippi, and includes a new five-year authorization for food and drug administration user fees.

The measure also includes funds for the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s main disaster relief fund, an infusion that comes amid Hurricane Ian’s leveling of Southwest Florida and after the devastation of Hurricane Fiona in Puerto Rico.

In remarks on the floor just before the vote, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, highlighted some of the emergency appropriations included in the bill, including aid to Ukraine and to help the water crisis in Jackson, Mississippi. She also pointed to a relatively small amount of funding that could be deployed immediately to help with the Hurricane Ian recovery effort, but noted that even larger funds will likely be needed.

“This legislation is a package for the people. I urge a strong bipartisan yes to the continued resolution so we can quickly send this bill to the president’s desk,” Pelosi said on the floor.

What is not included in the legislation are the billions of dollars the White House has requested to continue its response to COVID-19. The Biden administration has requested $22.4 billion for next-generation vaccines, treatments and research.

“This legislation avoids a very bad thing – government shutdown – and does a lot of good things: money for the people of Ukraine, funds for communities reeling from natural disasters, help for families with their utility bills, heating, to name a few,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., said just before the vote.

“Millions and millions of people can breathe easy,” Schumer added.

Republicans have tried to have the continuing resolution expire early next year, rather than mid-December, in hopes the GOP will gain control of the House after November’s midterm elections.

PICTURED: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell walks into the Senate to vote on the government's continued funding resolution at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, September 29, 2022.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell walks into the Senate to vote on the government’s continued funding resolution at the United States Capitol in Washington on September 29, 2022.

Shawn Thew/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Senator Schumer announced Thursday that the Senate would not return for its next vote until Nov. 14, giving members time to campaign in their home countries until Election Day.

When the Senate returns for the lame duck session, it will have a long list of things to do. Members will need to pass the National Defense Authorization Act, fund the government, confirm nominees and possibly pass legislation to protect same-sex marriage.

Schumer warned of an “extremely busy” last two months of the calendar year.

ABC News

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