The Senate sidesteps obstacles to pass a 3-week shutdown-averting stopgap spending measure

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., stops outside the Senate chamber to talk to reporters on Thursday.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., stops outside the Senate chamber to talk to reporters on Thursday. Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Lawmakers hope to pass full-year appropriations by March 11.

The Senate on Thursday cleared 65-27 a three-week stopgap bill to avoid a government shutdown, sending the measure to President Biden with just one day before the deadline. 

The chamber narrowly avoided a series of landmines surrounding the vote, with Republicans demanding votes on various ancillary amendments related to COVID-19 vaccine mandates, the budget process and Health and Human Services Department grant programs. Ultimately, a sufficient number of Republicans joined all present Democrats to pass the measure to extend funding for agencies at their current levels through March 11. The House easily passed the bill last week, and Biden is expected to sign it into law by Friday evening. 

Senate leadership agreed to vote on three amendments, though lawmakers had to walk a fine line to ensure none of the amendments passed. The House had already recessed and any changes to the continuing resolution would have forced a shutdown. 

A handful of Republican senators pushed for a guarantee that no federal funds go toward enforcing COVID-19 vaccine mandates, even though all of the Biden administration's requirements not aimed at health care workers or military members are currently paused or rescinded after legal challenges. The lawmakers threw a similar wrench before the Senate passed the previous CR, and the vote on the anti-mandate amendment failed. The vote proved trickier this time around, as three Democrats were absent from Washington on Thursday. The amendment, as well as another measure from Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, to ban schools and child care centers that receive federal funding from mandating vaccines, narrowly failed after four Republicans did not vote.

Sen. Mike Braun, R-Ind., pushed for another amendment to require Congress to balance its budget. That provision, which unlike the other amendments required 60 votes to pass, was easily defeated. 

Some Republican senators also pushed a vote over previous reports that HHS was providing grant funding through its harm reduction program to organizations that offered individuals pipes for smoking crack. The Biden administration has repeatedly called the reports false and HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said none of the grant funds would be used for pipes. Still, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., demanded a vote on an amendment to ensure no federal dollars go toward such a program. The Senate ultimately did not take up that vote after Rubio’s unanimous consent request was rejected.

It remained unclear much of Thursday how the Senate would resolve its voting obstacles. Throughout the process, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., both maintained confidence that no one wanted a shutdown and a funding lapse would be averted. 

The measure is the third continuing resolution of fiscal 2022, after Biden signed stopgaps into law in September and December. While Republicans briefly floated pushing a year-long CR, negotiators are now signaling a year-long omnibus appropriations bill is within reach. Top lawmakers said last week they reached a breakthrough agreement on a spending framework, which includes top-line funding levels that have not yet been made public. Appropriators must still iron out the exact spending for every federal program and office as part of the 12 individual bills that will make up the omnibus.

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.