The Washington Post
Congress approves government funding bill hours before midnight deadline to avert shutdown
By Tony Romm
ON ITS WAY TO PRESIDENT BIDEN!!https://t.co/0cKTZnZGFE
— SNOWFLAKE (@jawja100) September 30, 2021
Congress on Thursday approved a measure to fund the government into early December, staving off a shutdown that was set to occur after midnight…
The funding stopgap sustains federal agencies’ existing spending until December 3, at which point Congress must adopt another short-term fix, called a continuing resolution, or pass a dozen appropriations bills that fund federal agencies through the 2022 fiscal year.
The new measure also includes billions of dollars to assist in responding to two recent, deadly hurricanes that battered the Gulf Coast and Eastern Seaboard, as well as other money to aid in resettling refugees arriving from Afghanistan.
Senators adopted the measure Thursday after Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) brokered a deal with Republicans that allowed them to vote on a series of amendments, including one that seeks to block the federal government from spending money to carry out President Biden’s pending vaccine requirements for medium and large-sized businesses. That amendment, and another targeting Afghan aid, require 60 votes to pass and failed in a chamber where Democrats possess a tie-breaking majority.
House lawmakers followed suit later in the day, sparing what would have been a potentially destabilizing shutdown during the coronavirus pandemic. Federal agencies in recent days had scrambled in preparation for the worst, seeking to safeguard critical public health programs from possible disruption…
Still unresolved is the fight over the debt ceiling, the statutory limit on U.S. borrowing. The cap allows the government to rack up debt to pay its bills. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has told Congress that her agency will run out of flexibility to avoid missing payments after October 18, at which point Washington would face the unprecedented threat of default unless Congress acts.
House Democrats on Wednesday adopted a measure to raise the debt ceiling, but Senate lawmakers have been stymied amid a partisan dispute. Republicans have refused to raise the debt ceiling in the narrowly divided chamber, arguing they should not have to foot the bill for Biden’s broader economic agenda. That has angered Schumer and Democrats, who stress the debt ceiling covers past spending — and point out their party agreed to raise the borrowing limit without issue even under former president Donald Trump.
Republicans led by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) have blocked multiple attempts to address the debt ceiling in recent days, arguing that Democrats should use a process known as reconciliation to address the issue. The move allows Democrats to adopt bills with a simple majority. But Schumer has argued it is time consuming and “risky,” creating a stalemate in the chamber with significant economic implications, as the Biden administration warns inaction could plunge the country into a recession…
Congress gave final approval to a spending bill that would extend federal funding through early December and provide emergency aid to support the resettlement of Afghan refugees and disaster recovery efforts across the country. https://t.co/L5VOVuntJO
— Karol Cummins (@karolcummins) September 30, 2021
GOP Death Cultists, beavering away:
… Lawmakers reached a deal on the spending legislation after Democrats agreed to strip out a provision that would have raised the federal government’s ability to continue borrowing funds through the end of 2022. Senate Republicans blocked an initial funding package on Monday over its inclusion, refusing to give the majority party any of the votes needed to move ahead on a bill to avert a first-ever federal default in the coming weeks.
The legislation that passed on Thursday would keep the government fully funded through Dec. 3, giving lawmakers additional time to reach consensus over the dozen annual bills that dictate federal spending. It would provide $6.3 billion to help Afghan refugees resettle in the United States and $28.6 billion to help communities rebuild from hurricanes, wildfires and other recent natural disasters…
Before agreeing to the details of the spending bill Thursday morning, the Senate defeated an amendment proposed by Senator Tom Cotton, Republican of Arkansas, that would have curtailed the duration of some of the benefits for Afghan refugees.
Senators also voted down an amendment, offered by Senator Roger Marshall, Republican of Kansas, that would have barred funds from going toward the implementation and enforcement of Mr. Biden’s coronavirus vaccine mandate, as well as an amendment that would deny lawmakers pay should they fail to pass a budget resolution and the dozen spending bills by Oct. 1.