The Congressional Funding Bill and the Race Against the Shutdown Deadline

The Congressional Funding Bill and the Race Against the Shutdown Deadline

The House of Representatives voted 286-134 to pass a $1.2 trillion government funding bill on Friday. This move came just hours before the deadline to avert a government shutdown. The bill was then sent to the Senate for further consideration. It was a tight race against time, as the Senate needed all 100 senators to approve the bill before the midnight deadline to prevent a partial shutdown on Saturday morning. President Joe Biden has expressed his support for the bill and stated that he would sign it into law.

The bill, released the day before, allocates funds to various government departments and agencies, including Homeland Security, State, Labor, Defense, Health and Human Services, among others. Together with a $459 billion bill passed earlier in the month, the total funding for the federal government amounts to $1.659 trillion through September. This bill comes after months of negotiations and stopgap measures to keep the government funded.

Some members of Congress expressed confidence in the bill’s passage, while others highlighted the importance of avoiding a government shutdown. Democrats praised the bill for defeating proposed cuts and keeping out abortion restrictions. On the other hand, Republicans highlighted increased funding for immigration enforcement as a win. There was contention within the Republican Party, with Rep. Chip Roy criticizing his colleagues for not securing the immigration restrictions they desired. Prior to the final vote, hard-right House Freedom Caucus members held a news conference denouncing the bill as “capitulation” and “surrender.”

The House Freedom Caucus criticized the bill and the leadership that negotiated it. However, they did not indicate whether they would take action against House Speaker Mike Johnson or seek changes in GOP leadership. Despite some discontent within the party, Rep. Matt Gaetz, known for his previous attempts to remove a Republican speaker, stated that he did not plan to file a motion to vacate Johnson. He expressed concerns that removing the speaker could result in a Democrat taking the position, highlighting internal divisions within the Republican Party.

As the government funding bill progresses through Congress, the race against the shutdown deadline continues. The bill faces further scrutiny in the Senate, where all 100 senators must approve it to avoid a government shutdown. The internal divisions within the Republican Party add complexity to the legislative process and could impact the bill’s passage. As the deadline looms, all eyes are on Congress to ensure the government remains funded and operational.

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