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Friday, January 28, 2022

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US Government Shutdown Avoided for Now

Congress averted a Friday, December 3, authorities shutdown by passing a short lived funding measure Thursday night—first within the Home of Representatives and, a short time later, within the Senate. Passage of the measure, H.R. 6119, did not come with out drama, nonetheless, as a bunch of Senate Republicans threatened to carry up funding resulting from their opposition to President Biden’s vaccine mandate. Finally the short-term funding measure was authorized, sending the laws to the White Home for President Biden’s signature, anticipated someday Friday.

The Home authorized the invoice 221 to 212. The Senate, after keeping off Republican objections to the vaccine mandate, handed the measure 69 to twenty-eight. The principles of the Senate required no less than 60 sure votes for the invoice to cross.

The brand new laws, within the type of a unbroken decision (CR), will fund authorities operations at present ranges by way of Feb. 18, 2022. At that point, an omnibus budget bill must be adopted or another continuing resolution passed to be able to keep away from a mid-winter authorities shutdown.

Home and Senate leaders resolved the deadlock that threatened to carry up the CR when settlement was reached to carry votes on each the funding measure and a GOP modification that may prohibit using federal funding for COVID-19 vaccine mandates. The funding measure handed. The modification didn’t.

Key Takeaways

  • Congress reached a deal Thursday night, Dec. 2, 2022, to fund the federal government and keep away from a partial shutdown.
  • The persevering with decision maintains funding at present ranges by way of Feb. 18, 2022.
  • Some GOP Senators threatened to carry up funding to pressure a easy majority vote on President Biden’s vaccine and testing mandate.
  • A vote was in the end held and the modification failed.
  • Congress has till midnight Feb. 18, 2022, to resolve funding points and cross an omnibus funds invoice or one other persevering with decision.
  • Laws to mandate computerized persevering with resolutions to keep away from authorities shutdowns has been launched however up to now has failed to achieve a vote in Congress.
  • Different points Congress should deal with, as the tip of the calendar yr approaches, embrace the debt ceiling, the Nationwide Protection Authorization Act, and the Construct Again Higher Act.

Finish Authorities Shutdowns Laws

The virtually fixed risk of presidency shutdowns has generated makes an attempt by lawmakers to introduce laws aimed toward ending the political gamesmanship that appears to accompany almost each approaching spending deadline.

Such was the case in September 2021, when last-minute motion by Congress despatched a invoice to fund the federal government till Dec. 3 to President Biden’s desk. In response, legislators in each events sponsored payments aimed toward guaranteeing {that a} future stalemate wouldn’t end in a authorities shutdown or a halt to federal paychecks or advantages. Listed below are a few of the notable ones.

  • Cease STUPIDITY (Shutdowns Transferring Pointless Ache and Inflicting Injury within the Coming Years) Act (S. 2892). Launched by Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., in September 2021, this invoice would impose a compulsory persevering with decision (aside from Congress and the White Home) to make sure federal staff usually are not impacted and that the legislative and govt branches have an incentive to resolve their variations.
  • Finish Authorities Shutdowns Act (S. 2760). sponsored by Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, additionally in September 2021, would mechanically approve spending at earlier ranges, much like the Cease STUPIDITY Act, with the extra provision that, for each 120 days there isn’t a deal, funding can be minimize 1%.
  • Stop Authorities Shutdowns Act of 2021 (S.2727). One other September providing by Sen. Lankford, R-Okla., this invoice additionally mandates a unbroken decision (in 14-day increments) however with some novel restrictions:Journey funding for the White Home, Congress, and congressional workers can be shut off. Lawmakers can be required to remain in Washington (with attendance taken). Non-funding laws couldn’t be voted on for 30 days.

None of those payments has turn out to be legislation. Actually, the one motion taken up to now has been the introduction of the payments within the originating chamber of Congress. Now that the newest disaster has been averted there may be little purpose to consider legislators have a lot urge for food for shifting any of this laws ahead anytime within the close to future.

Different Points for Congress to Resolve

Avoiding one other authorities shutdown for now, doesn’t imply Congress is off the hook. Removed from it. The unique plan was for lawmakers to start their vacation break round Dec. 10 this yr. With the to-do checklist beneath earlier than it, the Dec. 10 holiday-exit plan appears to fall someplace between extremely inconceivable and unattainable.

Debt Ceiling

In accordance with Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, Treasury could make the nation’s debt funds by way of about Dec. 15, 2021. After that, the chance the U.S. will default will depend on whether Congress raises or suspends the debt ceiling. Congress faces the Dec. 15 debt ceiling deadline resulting from its failure to deal with the difficulty totally in October. As a substitute, Congress lifted the debt ceiling by $480 billion, which is now anticipated to be reached by mid-December.

For the reason that debt ceiling, just like the funding mentioned above, is commonly used as a bargaining chip in an limitless recreation of “hen” between the 2 events, some have urged abolishing the debt ceiling altogether. As with efforts to mandate persevering with resolutions for spending, these makes an attempt haven’t gained adequate traction within the halls of Congress.

Nationwide Protection Authorization Act (NDAA)

The deadline to cross the National Defense Authorization Act is Dec. 31, 2021. The NDAA has been authorized by Congress every of the previous 60 years. There isn’t any one in Washington who significantly thinks it will not cross this time.

The issue has been foot-dragging on each side of the aisle. The Home handed its model of the invoice in September. Since then, Senate Majority Chief Chuck Schumer has delayed consideration in that chamber, adopted by Republican senators who’ve additionally blocked the laws. At the moment the NDAA is stalled whereas Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., pushes so as to add an modification designed to punish China over its alleged therapy of the Uyghurs.

Construct Again Higher Act (BBBA)

There’s additionally the matter of the president’s wide-ranging Build Back Better Act, which Democrats are eager to cross within the Senate earlier than Christmas because the invoice already handed the Home in November. The laws dedicates $2.3 trillion to social infrastructure and local weather, and is a signature a part of the Biden agenda.

Though Democrats already anticipate passing it within the Senate by way of a course of known as reconciliation, which might require a easy majority as a substitute of the traditional 60-vote threshold, passage just isn’t assured resulting from wavering assist from some reasonable Democrats.

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