To give lawmakers more time to draft a roughly $1.7 trillion appropriations package that would fund the entire fiscal year, the Democratic-led House on Wednesday passed a short-term spending bill to maintain funding levels for government agencies through December 23.
A partial government shutdown is possible if Congress doesn’t pass the extension by Friday at midnight. The legislation, which would give Congress an extra week to come to an agreement, is now headed to the Senate for a vote before being forwarded to President Joe Biden for signing.
Voting mostly along party lines, the one-week extension was approved by a vote of 224-201.
Republicans in the House voted overwhelmingly against the extension. It would enable Congress to pass a sizable spending bill before a Republican majority would take control of the House in January and impose its preferences on spending, which many people objected to.
Republican House leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy argued that Republicans should have the chance to influence early-year spending legislation following the midterm elections. He demanded a prolongation that would go into effect in the first quarter of 2023.
Allow the American people to change Washington as it is today, as they requested a month ago, McCarthy urged.
Republicans will control the majority of seats in the House, but Democrats won a seat in the Senate and will control that chamber with a 51-49 majority in the coming session.
According to McCarthy, the two senators in charge of drafting the spending bill won’t be in office the following year and won’t be held responsible for their work in front of the electorate. Senators Richard Shelby of Alabama and Patrick Leahy of Vermont are both retiring. The Senate Appropriations Committee is headed by Leahy, and Shelby is the committee’s top Republican.
They want the right to bring it up on the eve of Christmas, despite the fact that it is still not even available for anyone to read. Rep. Steve Scalise, the second-ranking Republican in the House, said this regarding the $1.7 trillion package. It is evidence that Congress did not perform its duties.
Many Senate Republicans are aware that postponing talks until January creates the kind of collision course that might result in a shutdown, but they worry that they will be held accountable.
The top Republican in the Senate, Sen. Mitch McConnell, has argued that passing a full-year spending bill this Congress is preferable to the alternatives because it ensures a significant increase in defense spending.
According to McConnell, “I’ll support it for our Armed Forces if a truly bipartisan full-year bill without poison pills is ready for final Senate passage by late next week.” If not, a short-term continuing resolution will be passed into the new year.
Shelby stated that while there is agreement on spending about $858 billion on defense, the two parties are about $25 billion apart on overall spending. Tuesday night, lawmakers declared that they had agreed on a “framework.” That should allow talks to end by the following week, but they gave no further information.
Colleagues were urged to support the extension by Rep. Rosa DeLauro, the Democratic chair of the House Appropriations Committee. The final spending bill being negotiated, according to her, “will contribute to the security that we all deserve for our country and our communities.”
The final bill is anticipated to include other bipartisan priorities, such as an election provision intended to prevent a repeat of the January 6 uprising, as well as the Biden administration’s request for an additional $37 billion in aid to Ukraine. The bill would also make it clear that the vice president’s constitutional role in the proceedings is solely ministerial, making it more difficult for lawmakers to object to a particular state’s electoral votes.