Government funding bill is introduced as Congress races to avoid an October 1 shutdown
09.27.22 10:17 a.m.
Senate Democratic leaders unveiled interim government funding invoice overnight, just days before federal agencies ran out of money on Friday.
The continuing resolution funds the government through Dec. 16 and keeps spending at the same levels, giving House and Senate appropriations committees more time to iron out a broader budget deal for the rest of the fiscal year.
The legislation also includes approximately $12 billion for Ukrainian aid. Congress has already approved tens of billions in military and humanitarian aid for the country after the Russian invasion in February. The measure also includes $20 million to help Jackson, Mississippi with its water crisis, $2.5 billion to deal with damage from a New Mexico wildfire and $1 billion dollars to increase funding for a low-income home heating program.
Under a deal previously brokered by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., Sen. Joe Manchin, DW.Va., and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., the project The bill also includes legislation, authored by Manchin, that revises how the government approves power generation permits. Manchin obtained a promise to enclose his bill in exchange for supporting the Inflation Reduction Acta health care and energy bill approved in a party-line vote in August.
The Senate is expected to proceed to a procedural vote on the interim funding bill Tuesday evening, just days before the deadline to avoid a shutdown. But there has been bipartisan opposition to Manchin’s clearance proposal, which would need 60 votes to advance under the package. Many Republicans are still upset that Manchin joined Democrats in backing the sweeping climate and health care bill after saying he couldn’t vote for a sweeping national spending package, known as the Build Back Better. Manchin’s support for a scaled-down version that includes provisions to cut prescription drug prices and invest in energy programs gave Democrats and President Biden a significant legislative victory heading into the 2022 midterms. A bloc of progressive Democrats led by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders joins GOP senators, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, in opposing the authorization proposal, arguing that new projects could have a negative impact on communities of color.
Manchin said the combination of Sanders and Senate Republicans was “strange bedfellows” and amounted to “revenge politics,” and he calls his plan an opportunity to boost U.S. energy production to a crawl. when the country faces inflation.
Alabama Sen. Richard Shelby, the top Republican on the Senate Appropriations panel, said in a written statement, “We have made significant progress toward an ongoing resolution that is as clean as possible. But, if the Democrats insist on including licensing reform, I will oppose it.”
If the Senate bill fails to get the 60 votes needed to smash a GOP filibuster, House Democrats are likely to push an interim funding bill without Manchin’s authorization bill and to try to pass it and send it to the Senate for approval.
Rep. Rosa DeLauro, chair of the House Appropriations Committee, said the bill leaves some room for a broader deal, but added, “It’s not perfect. Urgent needs, including including the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the monkeypox outbreak.But DeLauro said with four days left until the end of the fiscal year, both chambers needed to “act quickly.”