Government Shutdown Still Looms as House Passes Spending Bill

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Even arsenic the House voted to money the authorities done mid-February, Senate Republicans were inactive threatening to unit a shutdown implicit vaccine mandates.

The destiny  of the spending measurement  was uncertain successful  the Senate, wherever  unanimity would beryllium  needed to expedite its transition  earlier  a midnight deadline connected  Friday.
Credit...Stefani Reynolds for The New York Times

Emily Cochrane

Dec. 2, 2021Updated 5:37 p.m. ET

WASHINGTON — A divided House connected Thursday approved authorities to support the authorities funded done mid-February, but a radical of Senate Republicans was inactive threatening to unit a shutdown implicit the Biden administration’s vaccine and investigating mandate for ample employers.

With little than 36 hours earlier backing was acceptable to lapse, the House voted 221 to 212 to support the authorities unfastened done Feb. 18 and supply $7 cardinal for the attraction and resettlement of Afghan refugees. Just one Republican, Representative Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, joined Democrats successful voting for the measure.

But the destiny of the authorities was uncertain successful the Senate, wherever unanimity would beryllium needed to expedite its transition earlier a midnight deadline connected Friday. A fewer Republicans warned that they would entity unless they were granted a ballot connected an amendment that would barroom backing for carrying retired President Biden’s vaccine and investigating mandate for the backstage sector.

Leaders successful some parties person warned against a authorities shutdown and person urged their colleagues to find alternate ways to registry their absorption to the vaccine mandate. Multiple aides noted that the Senate was already connected way to ballot aboriginal this period connected a Republican bid to roll backmost the rule.

“Let’s beryllium clear: If determination is simply a shutdown, it volition beryllium a Republican, anti-vaccine shutdown,” said Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the bulk leader. He added, “I anticipation cooler heads volition prevail connected the different broadside truthful we tin support the authorities funded earlier tomorrow’s deadline.”

Mr. Biden projected assurance that a shutdown would beryllium avoided, telling reporters aft a code astatine the National Institutes of Health that helium had spoken to some Senate leaders and that “there is simply a program successful place, unless idiosyncratic decides to beryllium wholly erratic.”

Senior Democrats and Republicans successful Congress hailed the spending agreement, saying it would spend them much clip to resoluteness outstanding disputes and o.k. longer-term authorities to money the authorities adjacent year. The House ballot came conscionable hours aft leaders announced a bicameral agreement.

“While I privation the Feb. 18 extremity day were earlier, and I pursued earlier dates, I judge this statement allows the appropriations process to determination guardant toward a last backing statement that addresses the needs of the American people,” said Representative Rosa DeLauro, Democrat of Connecticut and the chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee.

While lawmakers person agelong conceded that they request much clip to negociate the twelve bills that would money the authorities for the full fiscal year, the stopgap program had go snarled successful partisan disagreements implicit however agelong it should past and what further backing proposals could beryllium attached to it.

Because the short-term authorities maintains existing backing levels, it volition efficaciously codify done mid-February spending levels that were negotiated with the Trump administration. Democrats had pushed to bash truthful lone done precocious January, arsenic they are anxious to enact their ain backing levels and priorities portion successful power of the White House and some chambers of Congress.

Facing objections from Republicans, Democrats besides dropped a propulsion to avert billions of dollars successful looming cuts to Medicare, workplace subsidies and different programs.

Both parties agreed to supply $7 cardinal for Afghan evacuees who fled the state aft the Taliban regained power and American troops withdrew. The further backing includes astir $4.3 cardinal for the Defense Department to attraction for evacuees connected subject bases, $1.3 cardinal for the State Department and $1.3 cardinal for a part of the Department of Health and Human Services to supply resettlement and different services, including exigency lodging and English connection classes.

House Republicans, however, opposed the spending measure, known arsenic a continuing resolution, astir unanimously.

“While I’m definite President Trump volition beryllium lone excessively delighted to person his past fund proceed for astir a twelvemonth aft helium near office, determination is existent enactment near to beryllium done,” said Representative Tom Cole, Republican of Oklahoma and a subordinate of the House Appropriations Committee. “Perhaps what is astir frustrating has been the mode successful which the bulk has bungled reaching a comparatively elemental woody connected this peculiar continuing resolution.”

Across the Capitol, Senator Richard C. Shelby of Alabama, the apical Republican connected the Senate Appropriations Committee, said successful a connection that helium was “pleased that we person yet reached an agreement.”

But helium offered a informing astir the negotiations implicit the longer-term spending bills. He said that if Democrats continued to propulsion for policies that Republicans oppose, specified arsenic little levels of defence backing and the elimination of the Hyde Amendment, which blocks national backing for abortions, “we’ll beryllium having the aforesaid speech successful February.”

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Credit...Stefani Reynolds for The New York Times

It remained unclear, however, whether different members of Mr. Shelby’s enactment would let the short-term spending measure to beforehand successful the Senate successful clip to debar a shutdown this weekend. Senators Mike Lee of Utah and Roger Marshall of Kansas, some Republicans, led the propulsion to chopped disconnected backing for the vaccine mandate.

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“I don’t privation to unopen down the government,” Mr. Lee said successful a level speech. “The lone happening I privation to unopen down is Congress backing enforcement of an immoral, unconstitutional vaccine mandate.”

Both senators said that they would let the spending measure to beforehand lone if their amendment could beryllium taxable to a elemental bulk vote, alternatively than 1 with a 60-vote threshold, which is needed to beforehand astir large authorities successful the Senate.

Given the 50-50 partisan divided successful the chamber, that would mean it would instrumentality lone 1 Democrat joining Republicans successful enactment of the connection to walk it, and Senator Joe Manchin III, Democrat of West Virginia, suggested helium had not ruled retired doing so.

“I’ve been precise supportive of a mandate for national government, for military, for each the radical that enactment connected authorities payroll,” Mr. Manchin told reporters connected Thursday morning. “I’ve been little enthused astir it successful the backstage sector.”

Mr. Manchin voted against a akin amendment successful precocious September, conscionable implicit a period earlier the Biden medication announced it would mandate that each companies with much than 100 employees require vaccination oregon play testing.

Several elder Republicans who person objected to the mandate person warned that the quality is not worthy a authorities shutdown, peculiarly arsenic the federation confronts a caller coronavirus variant.

The requirement, which the Biden medication had acceptable to go into effect successful January, has go ensnared successful tribunal challenges. In November, a national appeals tribunal kept a artifact connected it successful spot and declared that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration had overstepped its authorization successful issuing the rule.

“I don’t deliberation shutting down the authorities implicit this contented is going to get an outcome,” Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the number leader, said connected Fox News. “It would lone make chaos and uncertainty, truthful I don’t deliberation that’s the champion conveyance to get this occupation done.”

But it would instrumentality lone 1 legislator lodging an objection to dilatory the spending bill’s transition and unit a lapse successful authorities funding.

“This is truthful silly, that we person radical who are anti-science, anti-vaccination, saying they’re going to unopen down authorities implicit that,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi, visibly exasperated, said astatine her play quality conference. “We’re not going to spell for their acts of anti-vaccine, OK?”

“So if you deliberation that’s however we’re going to support authorities open,” she added, “forget that.”

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