Cnbc Logo New.png

House Passes $1.2 Trillion Spending Bill, Sending it to Senate Hours Before Shutdown

U.S. Capitol Police officers stand guard outside the Capitol.

Evelyn Hockstein | Reuters

The House voted 286-134 on Friday to pass a sweeping $1.2 trillion government funding bill, sending it to the Senate just hours before the deadline to prevent a shutdown.

Soon after, the Senate voted 78-18 to advance the bill procedurally, but all 100 senators will need to greenlight a final vote to skip other hurdles and pass the bill before the midnight deadline. If that doesn’t happen, the government would be forced into a partial shutdown on Saturday morning. President Joe Biden has called on Congress to pass it quickly and said he’ll sign the bill.

“This hasn’t been a perfect process. But we should never let the perfect be the enemy of the good,” House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., said. “This is a good result for the American people.”

The bill, released early Thursday, funds the departments of Homeland Security, State, Labor, Defense, Health and Human Services and various other agencies. Together with the $459 billion bill passed earlier this month, it fully funds the federal government to the tune of $1.659 trillion through September, after months of stopgap bills and negotiations.

“I’m confident we will take up and pass this bill. Whether or not we can avoid a government shutdown solely depends on a small number of Senate Republicans, and whether they will drag this out through the weekend,” Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., said on MSNBC.

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., left, and Speaker of the House Mike Johnson, R-La., attend a Menorah lighting to celebrate the eight-day festival of Hanukkah, in the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday, December 12, 2023. 

Tom Williams | Cq-roll Call, Inc. | Getty Images

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, said the impending two-week recess would motivate the Senate to get unanimous consent to vote quickly and pass the bill. “This is the United States Senate,” Murkowski said. “We’re motivated by recesses.”

The legislation was negotiated by House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., top appropriators in both parties and the White House. Both parties touted some wins: Democrats said they “defeated outlandish cuts” proposed by Republicans and kept out abortion restrictions. GOP leaders touted more immigration funding for border agents and detention beds for Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

“Against all odds, House Republicans refocused spending on America’s most crucial needs, at home and abroad,” House Appropriations Chair Kay Granger, R-Texas, said before the vote.

Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, complained that members only had about 24 hours to review the bill and attacked his fellow Republicans for failing to secure the immigration restrictions they wanted, referring to the killing of a University of Georgia student that has been a rallying cry for GOP members.

“My Republican colleagues cannot go campaign against mass parole and use the name of Laken Riley, because you pass a bill in her name, when you fund the very policies that lead to her death,” Roy said on the House floor. “Any of my Republican colleagues you want to spend this year campaigning against open borders — it’s a laugh. Because today, if you vote for this abomination of a bill, you will be voting to fund it. You will be voting to fund the very policies that you will campaign against.”

Prior to the vote, leaders of the hard-right House Freedom Caucus held a news conference trashing the bill, calling it “capitulation,” “surrender” and “chock full of crap.”

But they didn’t take questions about whether they’ll seek to retaliate by removing Johnson or calling for changes in GOP leadership, whom they blamed for the final product.

“This is not a personnel discussion for us today,” Rep. Bob Good, R-Va., the chair of the Freedom Caucus, told reporters. “We’re talking about the bill and the policy today.”

On the eve of the vote, Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., who led the push to remove Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., as speaker last year, said he doesn’t plan on filing a motion to vacate Johnson.

“If we vacated this speaker, we’d end up with a Democrat,” Gaetz told reporters. “I worry that we’ve got Republicans who would vote for Hakeem Jeffries at this point. I really do.”

Source link

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *