Congress Avoids Shutdown With Hours to Spare

Congress Avoids Shutdown With Hours to Spare

Reuters/Erin Scott

You can’t accuse lawmakers in Washington of being boring this week.

Facing a midnight deadline to avoid a partial shutdown of the federal government, Congress on Thursday passed a short-term measure that will fund the government through December 3. President Joe Biden is expected to sign the bill before the end of the day.

The legislation, known as a continuing resolution, also provides $28.6 billion in relief funds for communities experiencing natural disasters, and $6.3 billion to help cover the cost of resettling refugees from Afghanistan in the U.S.

The bill passed the Senate in a 65-35 vote, with 50 Democrats and 15 Republicans voting yes; the 35 no votes all came from Republicans. The House vote was 254-175, with 220 Democrats and 34 Republicans voting in favor, and 175 Republicans voting against.

“This is a good outcome, one I’m happy we are getting done,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said. “With so many things to take care of in Washington, the last thing the American people need is for the government to grind to a halt.”

House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) reminded lawmakers that the funding bill is short-term and that there’s more work to be done. “This bill is not a permanent solution,” she said. “I look forward to soon beginning negotiations with my counterparts across the aisle and across the Capitol to complete full-year government funding bills that reverse decades of disinvestment,” she added.