Will The Government Shut Down?

Photo by Joakim Honkasalo on Unsplash

What’s going to happen?

As the Friday night deadline loomed, Senate passed a bill keeping the government funded until March 11, averting a government shutdown.

The bill passed 65-27, keeping the government funded at current levels until mid-March. The bill, which passed in the House last week, will now make its way to President Biden, who is expected to sign it.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer celebrated the bill being passed in a statement saying, “We have kept the government open. It took some work, especially when the Senate rules lend themselves to delay and obstruction.” He also expressed gratitude to Appropriations Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) for their help passing the bill.

He continued his statement, adding that allowing the government to shut down “would have caused undue hardship for millions of blameless Americans.”

Referred to as a continuing resolution, the bill gives Congress a further three weeks to agree on the mammoth government spending bill that would fund the government until September.

Passing the bill came down to the wire on Thursday when two GOP Senators — Sen. Ted Cruz (TX.) and Sen. Mike Lee — looked to capitalize on the absence of Democratic Senators Ben Ray Luján (CA.), Dianne Feinstein (CA.), and Mark Kelly (AZ.). Cruz was pushing to add an amendment that would block federal funding for schools and daycare centers that have a vaccine requirement and Lee was pushing for an amendment to defund vaccine requirements for medical workers, military personnel, federal employees, and contractors. Both amendments failed.

If changes were made to the continuing resolution, it would have to go back to the House, which is currently in the midst of a two-week recess.

But Republicans expected the deadlock to work itself out as enough Republican Senators would leave in anticipation of the Senate’s one-week break.