US Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) speaks during a news conference following a luncheon by Senate Democrats in the US Capitol September 28, 2022 in Washington, DC.
Anna Moneymaker | Getty Images
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate approved a week-long extension of federal funding, preventing a partial government shutdown that was due to begin Saturday.
The measure, passed 71-19, gives lawmakers an extra week to negotiate and pass a sweeping federal agency funding bill during the fiscal year ending Sept. 30.
The U.S. House of Representatives passed its version of the week-long extension Wednesday by a vote of 224 to 201, with nine Republicans crossing party lines to support the bill.
While that vote was technically bipartisan, only one returning Republican voted in favour. The other eight GOP votes came from members leaving Congress at the end of the year, either because they are retiring or because they have lost re-election.
The Senate was under pressure Thursday to pass the law promptly and without objections from individual senators that could delay a vote on the expedited process to pass the measure.
“We should act quickly today to avert a closure without the unwanted fanfare that has led to closures for the past few years,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said in the Senate Thursday morning.
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Schumer promised that both sides would spend the rest of the day finalizing the seven-day draft “Continuous Resolution” (CR) bill.
The Senate vote on the stopgap CR came in the shadow of much more high-level negotiations currently underway over a massive omnibus spending bill that would fund all federal agencies through the end of fiscal 2023 next September.
On Tuesday night, the top appropriators in the House of Representatives, Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., and Sens. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., and Richard Shelby, R-Ala., the top appropriators of the Republicans and Democrats in the Senate , announced that they have reached a framework agreement to begin serious negotiations on a omnibus bill.
All three expressed optimism that omnibus legislation could be drafted and passed before Congress departs for Christmas on December 23.
Notably absent from the announcement, however, was top Republican appropriator in the House of Representatives Kay Granger of Texas.
House Republicans have little incentive to help Democrats pass spending bills before they take control on Jan. 3.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has publicly championed a series of CR bills that would only fund the government through January, allowing him and his new majority to tackle a broader spending bill when they have more clout.