House sends bill to Biden to avert a government shutdown and further aid Ukraine

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.Scott J. Applewhite/AP
  • Congress has moved to avert a government shutdown just hours before it would have begun.

  • President Biden is expected to sign the bill into law before the midnight deadline.

  • The legislation also contains funding for Ukraine, disaster relief, and heating assistance.

House Democrats and ten House Republicans on Friday passed legislation to fund the federal government hours before a devastating shutdown would have begun. The final vote was 230-201.

President Joe Biden is expected to sign the bill into law shortly before the midnight deadline. The federal government is now set to be funded through December 16.

The legislation also includes roughly $12 billion to support Ukraine's fight against Russia, $20 million to address Jackson, Mississippi's water crisis, $1 billion to help low-income Americans with heating assistance, and billions in disaster aid. The legislation also allocated billions for disaster relief, but Puerto Rico and Florida are expected to request much more in the coming months.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy led Republicans in opposing the measure, unlike in the Senate where his counterpart Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell voted for it. Of the 10 House Republicans who supported the measure, six of them are retiring. They are Reps. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, Chris Jacobs of New York, John Katko of New York, Fred Upton of Michigan, and Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio. The four additional votes in favor came from Reps. Steve Womack of Arkansas, Hal Rogers of Kentucky, Patrick McHenry of North Carolina, and Garret Graves of Louisiana.

The Senate passed the funding bill on Thursday by a 72-25 vote. Twenty-two Senate Republicans joined every single Senate Democrat in backing the measure. Conservatives have long railed against increased government spending and the process of funding the government through last-minute bills.

For as much as lawmakers packed into the must-pass proposal, there are still things left out. The legislation is also known as a continuing resolution, meaning that Congress has continued its decade-long march of funding the government through a single massive bill as opposed to following the appropriations process which is supposed to end on September 30th.

Republicans successfully blocked Democrats from including emergency aid for COVID-19 and monkeypox, though Democrats have vowed to keep pushing for it. Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia was also forced to request his permitting overhaul be pulled from the bill in the face of bipartisan opposition. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer had promised to include Manchin's proposal as part of the deal that secured the West Virginian's vote to pass Democrats' massive climate and healthcare spending plan.

Lawmakers aren't expected to return to Washington until after the midterm elections for the "lame duck" session.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has promised a busy end of the year.

Florida has already begun the process of requesting more money to help recover from Hurricane Ian. Bipartisan groups of senators are trying to muster enough support for a historic codification of same-sex marriage rights and how Congress handles certifying the winner of a presidential election. Some lawmakers are still holding out hope that Congress will ban stock trading by members and senior staffers.

"Members should be prepared for an extremely, underline extremely, busy agenda in the last two months of this Congress," Schumer said on the floor on Thursday.

Read the original article on Business Insider