The House of Representatives late on December 14 approved a one-week continuing resolution (CR) to keep the federal government funded for another week. The Senate passed the measure December 15.
The measure passed the House by a vote of 224-201 and in the Senate by a margin of 75-20. The bill needs to be signed by President Biden before midnight on December 16 to avoid a government shutdown.
The funding extension until December 23 allows lawmakers to continue to negotiate an $1.7 trillion spending bill which would finance the federal government for fiscal 2023.
Negotiators for the omnibus spending bill announced on December 13 that they had reached an agreement in principle but allocating the money to government agencies remains. Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Richard Shelby, an Alabama Republican, released the following statement: “I am pleased to confirm that Chairman Leahy, Chair DeLauro, and I have reached a bipartisan, bicameral framework that allows us to begin the difficult work of reaching agreement across twelve separate bills. If all goes well, we should be able to finish an omnibus appropriations package by December 23rd.”
Shelby later told reporters on December 14 that they were “basically negotiating with the House Democrats and the Democrats here because some of the House Republicans have not shown as much interest in getting an omnibus.” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Republican from California has indicated his objection to a broader spending deal now, much preferring to take-up a spending bill when Republicans control the House starting January 3.
McCarthy’s opposition is in direct contrast to his Republican counterparts in the Senate where Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican from Kentucky, wants to wrap up all business of the 117th Congress by December 23. McConnell said December 13 that Republican senators would not return to Congress after the holidays and that instead, they would back another short-term CR into early next year.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, Democrat from Maryland, announced December 15 that the House will return on December 21 pending Senate action on the omnibus, and will stay in session until the omnibus is completed.
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