Congress Strikes Deal To Keep Government Funded Through Feb 18

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The United States Capitol building
The United States Capitol building

Congress averted a government shutdown Thursday night by voting on a stopgap bill that keeps the federal government funded through Feb. 18.

The final vote in the Senate was 69-28 and the final vote in the House was 221-212, with Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R- (IL) being the only House Republican who voted in favor of the bill.  The bill will now head to President Joe Biden's desk for his signature.

 

 

The passage of the stopgap bill came as Republicans threatened to shut the government down over Biden’s executive order mandating businesses with at least 100 employees to require their employees to either get vaccinated or subject them to regular testing and mask mandates.

To keep the government operating, the two parties had a vote on the stopgap bill and a GOP amendment to prohibit federal funding for the Covid-19 mandate, which ultimately failed to pass by a vote of 50-48. The bill is also set to include $7 billion for Afghan refugees who assisted the U.S. military during the war in Afghanistan. 

The bipartisan deal will give lawmakers more time to raise the debt ceiling and avoid a debt default, which would “eviscerate” the nation’s economic recovery and trigger a recession, according to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. The same stopgap measure was agreed to in October, but that deal was set to expire today.

“I am glad that, in the end, cooler heads prevailed, the government will stay open, and I thank the members of this chamber for walking us back from the brink of an avoidable, needless and costly shutdown,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D- (N.Y.) on the Senate floor prior to the vote.

 

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