House Democrats Reach Deal on Stopgap Government Funding Bill

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US Capitol in Washington, DC

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Stephanie Reynolds / Businesshala

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House Appropriations Committee Chair Rosa DeLauro (D.-Conn) said House Democrats reached an agreement on a short-term spending bill to fund the government, which would survive the shutdown. Statement.

The plan is expected to be voted on by the House later on Thursday. It must pass both the House and Senate by midnight on Friday, when current government funding runs out.

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DeLauro said the temporary funding measure, called a continuing resolution, was to be filed in the House for consideration at 8 a.m. Eastern Time. CR extends existing funding until February 18.

“To press for an omnibus, there is virtually no change in existing funding or policy in CR,” Delaro said, except for $7 billion for Afghanistan evacuation.

Current funding ends at midnight on Friday. If Congress failed to reach an agreement by then, the government would have been partially shut down, resulting in hundreds of thousands of furloughs and the closure of government institutions.

Due to the short deadline, the only way to avoid the shutdown was for all 100 senators to agree to a scheduled vote before the deadline. But no deal was struck until the House and Senate adjourned Wednesday, even though House Democrats were expected to vote on the stopgap measure.

At the time, Democrats and Republicans were still at odds over some key funding details. Democrats were pushing for a proposal with a shorter deadline in an effort to pressure Republicans to negotiate a long-term budget for fiscal year 2022. Republicans have indicated they are ready to extend the ongoing motion for up to a year.

“While I wish it was earlier, this agreement allows the appropriation process to proceed toward a final funding agreement that best meets the needs of the American people,” Delaro said in his statement.

Conservative Republicans in the House Freedom Caucus to plead strongly McConnell to drag on the continuing resolution process until it restricts funding for the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate.

“The Senate Republican convention gains significant gains against those mandates,” the caucus wrote in a letter to McConnell Wednesday. “We therefore write to request that you use all procedural tools at your disposal to deny the timely passage of CR, unless it prohibits funding – by all means – of the vaccine mandate.” and for its enforcement.”

Some of these Republicans have suggested resolving the impasse by allowing a simple majority vote on amendments to the temporary funding bill, which removed funding from the vaccine mandate.

Since Monday, three judges have stayed federal COVID-19 vaccine rules in some parts of the country. On Tuesday, a federal judge in Louisiana blocked the administration’s mandate requiring healthcare workers to be vaccinated.

Congress is also required to pass legislation to raise the country’s borrowing limits ahead of the recess for the year, as Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen continues to warn of the consequences of postponing the decision.

“I can’t overstate how important Congress is to this issue,” Yellen told Tuesday’s Senate Banking Committee hearing. “America must pay its bills on time and in full. If we don’t, we will end our current reform.”

Yellen is still speculating that the Treasury could run out of funds as early as December 15, around the same time that Treasury will invest $118 billion in the Highway Trust Fund. The Bipartisan Policy Center estimates that the “X” date could be between mid-December and early February.

Democrats are still rolling out a bipartisan solution to raise the debt limit, with Schumer expressing optimism that a deal could be reached.

“I recently had a good conversation with the Republican leader about this issue, and I look forward to continuing those talks on finding a bipartisan solution to address the debt ceiling,” Schumer said in a speech Tuesday. Am.”

But Republicans are striking on a different note, still pushing Democrats to raise the limit through budget reconciliation, a process that bypasses the 60-vote filibuster and allows them to do so through a single-party vote. allows to increase.

“Our Democratic allies can raise debt limits at any time, and Republicans can do nothing to stop them,” said Sen. Patrick Tomei (R.-Penn.) at a Senate Banking Committee hearing.

Schumer and McConnell met on November 18, but did not announce any final agreement.

McConnell later told reporters, “We have agreed to keep talking while working together somewhere.”

Failing to address the debt limit can have wide-ranging consequences. After a showdown in 2011 in which Congress avoided defaulting on its loans, Standard & Poor’s downgraded the US long-term credit rating from AAA to AA+. government accountability office estimated later That delay in raising the debt limit increased government borrowing costs by $1.3 billion in 2011. The S&P 500 fell nearly 20% before recovering.

“A lapse by the US government would be much worse than the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008,” said Beth N. Bovino, chief economist at S&P Global US. He said a lapse would “put the US economy back into recession, eroding the progress made by the recovery”.

government shutdown, On the other hand, there has generally been no issue for Share Market, An analysis by Goldman Sachs showed that in 14 shutdowns since 1980 S&P 500 Posted an average return of -0.1% on the day the budget ended, 0.1% during the shutdown period and 0.3% on the day the shutdown was resolved.

Write to Sabrina Escobar at [email protected]

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