The House passed a bill Thursday that funds the government through February 18th and avoids a short-term shutdown after midnight Friday, but quick Senate approval was in doubt because of a fight over President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandates. Democrats were able to use their majority to advance the spending bill. They have a more difficult task in the 50-50 Senate, where objections by just one senator can slow a final vote past Friday’s midnight deadline and would mean a short-term shutdown into the weekend.
The Democratic-led House passed the measure by a 221-212 vote. The Republican leadership urged members to vote no; the lone GOP vote for the bill came from Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger. An agreement among congressional leaders announced earlier in the day would keep the government running for 11 more weeks, generally at current spending levels while adding $7 billion to aid Afghanistan evacuees.
Lawmakers complained about the short-term fix and blamed the opposing party for the lack of progress on this year’s spending bills. Rep. Rosa DeLauro, chair of the House Appropriations Committee, said the measure would, however, allow for negotiations on a package covering the remainder of the budget year through September.
Reuters: U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES APPROVES BILL TO AVOID SATURDAY GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN ON 221-212 VOTE
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) December 2, 2021
Conservative Republicans opposed to President Biden’s vaccine rules want Congress to take a hard stand against the mandated shots for workers at larger businesses, even if that means shutting down federal offices over the weekend. Polling from The Associated Press shows Americans are divided over Biden’s effort to vaccinate workers, with Democrats overwhelmingly for it while most Republicans are against.
[This is a breaking and developing story, please check back for updates]
BREAKING: Marjorie Taylor Greene just called on Republicans to shut down the government over vaccine policies. “This government should be shut down,” she said, ensuring that the GOP owns any potential shutdown that occurs.
— No Lie with Brian Tyler Cohen (@NoLieWithBTC) December 2, 2021