- Congressional leaders unveiled a plan Thursday that would keep the federal government funded into mid-February.
- The one way to avoid a shutdown is for 100 senators to agree to schedule a vote before the deadline.
Congressional leaders unveiled a plan Thursday that would keep the federal government funded into mid-February. Still, it’s unclear if the deal would be enough to avoid a rapidly approaching government shutdown on midnight Friday.
House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Rosa DeLauro announced the final plan, which would go through February 18, and the committee is expected to vote on Thursday. The one way to avoid a shutdown is for 100 senators to agree to schedule a vote before the deadline. Some Senate Republicans have scared to hold up the bill over Joe Biden’s vaccine mandates.
While lawyers are confident that they can prevent a prolonged shutdown, a shutdown over the weekend into next week remains a possibility.
Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama, the top Republican member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, also said negotiators had reached a deal. However, it was unclear as of Thursday morning if the agreement meant that all 50 members of the GOP conference supported quick passage.
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“I’m pleased that we have finally reached an agreement on the continuing resolution,” Shelby said. “Now, we must get serious about completing FY22 bills. I have often said that work could only begin if we agree to start FY22, where we finished FY21. That means maintaining legacy riders, eliminating poison pills, and getting serious about the funding we will provide for our nation’s defense. If that doesn’t happen, we’ll be having this same conversation in February.”
Separate from the vaccine issue, Democrats had wanted to extend funding only into January, a concession DeLauro acknowledged in her statement.
“To create pressure for an omnibus, the CR includes virtually no changes to existing funding or policy,” DeLauro stated in the announcement. “However, Democrats wins in including $7 billion for Afghanistan evacuees. The ending date is February 18. While I wish it were earlier, this report allows the appropriations process to move ahead towards a funding agreement which addresses the needs of the American people.”
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