The Senate passed a continuing resolution (CR) late Wednesday night to fund federal agencies into early next year, temporarily averting a government shutdown just before the holiday season.
The bill passed by a vote of 87-11, with 10 Republicans and only one Democrat voting no. GOP Sens. John Cornyn and Tim Scott were absent for the vote. The House of Representatives passed the CR on Tuesday by an overwhelming majority of 336-95.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., described Wednesday as ‘a very, very good night for the American people’ before announcing a government shutdown has been avoided, which he credited to ‘bipartisan cooperation.’
‘Obviously, the Republican-led House needed Democratic votes to avoid a shutdown, and I was pleased to see that the speaker was willing to work with Democrats and resisted the siren song of the hard right in the House,’ Schumer said to reporters Wednesday. ‘And if that continues, we can avoid further shutdowns and finish the work of funding the government.’
In his remarks after the bill’s passing, Schumer was referring to the plan proposed by newly elected House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., on Saturday that was ultimately supported by Republicans and Democrats.
Johnson suggested creating two separate deadlines for funding different parts of the government in an effort to prevent Congress from lumping all 12 spending bills into a massive ‘omnibus’ package.
Bills concerning military construction and Veterans Affairs; Agriculture; Energy and Water; Transportation and Housing and Urban Development must be worked out by Jan. 19 while the remaining eight appropriations bills must be decided upon by Feb. 2.
‘The innovative two-step approach takes Washington’s preferred Christmas omnibus monstrosity off the table, shifts the government funding paradigm moving forward, and enhances [House Republicans’] ability to rein in the Biden administration’s failed policies and government spending,’ Johnson said after the CR passed the House on Tuesday. ‘We also are better positioned in the upcoming supplemental debate to demand Border Security, ensure oversight of Ukraine aid, and support our cherished ally, Israel.’
Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, D-Ill., who is on the Senate Appropriations Committee, also applauded the bipartisan effort to keep the government from shutting down right before the holiday season.
‘Funding the government is one of the essential parts of this job, and tonight, the Senate came together in a good-faith effort to pass the bipartisan House CR,’ Durbin said. ‘We’re keeping the lights on through the holidays and fulfilling our basic duties to ensure thousands of hardworking Americans and service men and women will not be forced to work without pay during what should be a joyous time of year.’
House and Senate leaders agreed another short-term extension was needed to determine the government’s spending priorities for the 2023 fiscal year in order to meet the deadline of midnight on Friday.