Senate passes one-week financial measure to avoid government shutdown

The Senate approved a one-week stopgap measure on Thursday to avoid a government shutdown, pushing a larger budget approval off until after the holidays.

The continuing resolution passed 71-19 with the majority of both parties supporting the decision.

The importance

“Congressional negotiators announced on Tuesday night that they had come to an agreement on a framework for the full-year omnibus bill, but the lawmakers needed time beyond Dec. 16, when government funding was slated to run out. They did not reveal the amount of money they agreed on, but it is expected to exceed last year’s $1.5 trillion,” the Washington Examiner reported.

“If all goes well, we should be able to finish an omnibus appropriations package by Dec. 23,” Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL), one of the four negotiators, said earlier this week.

What’s next?

“House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., who is seeking to win over right-wing holdouts in his bid to become speaker, has pushed to torpedo the larger funding bill and restart negotiations next year, when Republicans will take control of the House,” NBC News reported.

“His leadership team was also encouraging GOP members to vote the stopgap bill down this week,” it added.

McConnell also said it was important to deal with the reality of the current situation.

“We’re on defense. We’re dealing with cards that we were dealt,” McConnell told reporters Tuesday.

“And what I would say is given the fact that the Democratic presidency, the House and the Senate — to meet our defense numbers, and to not pay any bonus to the Democrats on the domestic side to achieve the defense number, is far and away the best we could do,” he added, according to the outlet.

Next month will see Republicans take back power in the House, but the Senate will remain under Democratic control, a situation that could lead to gridlock on the issue and other pressing matters over the next two years.

In addition to government funding, lawmakers will face pressure to deal with the border crisis, while GOP House leaders will seek to investigate Hunter Biden, Dr. Anthony Fauci and the FBI when it takes back the advantage.

The House will also be forced to choose its new speaker. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) will end her role, with Rep. Mitch McConnell (R-CA) the most likely to take the position.