President Joe Biden has signed legislation that will fund the federal government until mid-February, the White House said Friday, avoiding a shutdown after some Republicans threatened a stalemate over COVID-19 vaccine mandates.
The move will keep federal agencies working until Feb. 18, giving Congress an additional 11 weeks to work out a new short-term solution or longer agreement to keep the government running.
“Financing the government isn’t a great achievement — it’s a bare minimum of what we need to do,” Biden said earlier in the day.
He thanked the Senate for passing the bill in a bipartisan vote Thursday night.
And I would urge Congress to use the time this bill affords to work toward a bipartisan agreement on a year-round financing bill that will make the necessary investment in our economy and our people, from public health education to national security. ‘, he said.
The final vote on the short-term measure was 69 to 28, with Senate Leader Mitch McConnell and 18 other Republicans joining Democrats to keep the administration open.
“Financing the government isn’t a great achievement — it’s the bare minimum of what we need to do,” President Biden said Friday morning. He signed legislation that funded the government until mid-February later in the day, the White House said
The final vote on the short-term measure was passed by the Senate 69 to 28, with Senate Leader Mitch McConnell and 18 other Republicans voting with Democrats
After the House passed the same bill, 221-212, with only one Republican, who retired earlier Thursday night. Rep. Adam Kinzinger voted along with the Democratic majority.
“I am pleased to announce that an agreement has been reached between the Democrats and Republicans allowing the Senate to pass and pass the ongoing resolution to fund the government until Feb. 18,” Schumer said. ‘With this agreement, there will be no government shutdown.’
The deal struck in the Senate allowed a vote on a single amendment, the Lee-Marshall Amendment, that would downgrade Biden’s vaccine mandate.
That amendment vote failed, with 48 votes to scrap the vaccine mandate and all 50 Democrats voting against it.
Other Republicans who voted in addition to all 50 Democrats to keep the government funded included Sens. Roy Blunt, Richard Burr, Shelley Moore Capito, Bill Cassidy, Susan Collins, John Cornyn, Lindsey Graham, Cindy Hyde-Smith, John Kennedy, Jim Moran, Lisa Murkowski, Rob Portman, Mike Rounds, Marco Rubio, Richard Shelby, Thom Tillis , Roger Wicker and Todd Young.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced on the Senate floor Thursday night that lawmakers had reached a deal to avoid a government shutdown.
The deal struck in the Senate allowed a vote on a single amendment, the Lee-Marshall Amendment, in which Senator Mike Lee criticized President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate on the Senate floor shortly after Schumer’s announcement.
sen. Mike Lee — who led the effort to use the government shutdown deadline to deposit Biden’s vaccine mandate — spoke on the Senate floor right after Schumer’s announcement of a deal.
Lee argued that the federal government does not have the power to mandate vaccines and that “45 million Americans” are forced to choose between “an unwanted medical procedure or losing their job.”
‘I want to be very clear: I have been vaccinated, my family has been vaccinated. I believe the development of the vaccine is something of a modern medical miracle, I am thankful for the vaccine. I think the vaccine will help protect Americans from the effects of COVID,” he said.
“It’s not the government’s job, it’s not the government’s job to tell people to get vaccinated and if they don’t get vaccinated they will be fired. It’s wrong. It’s immoral,” the Utah Republican continued.
Lee said it was “tragic” that Americans had to be threatened with their jobs “as a result of a presidential tantrum.”
He chided Democrats for fighting “tooth and teeth to keep the United States from voting,” in an effort to blame the other party for a government shutdown.
“They would rather shut down the government and make things worse than be responsible for what they do,” Lee said.
Lee called the amendment vote “wonderful” and “fantastic.”
“It shouldn’t have resulted in days and days of press shutdown and days and days of deflection, accusing other people of wanting to shut down the government when all we wanted to do was vote,” Lee claimed.
After Lee’s speech, Virginia Senator Tim Kaine, speaking on behalf of Democrats, pointed out that the vaccine mandate in question allowed an exception for people who did not want to be vaccinated, as they could be tested weekly for COVID-19 instead.
‘I have heard my colleagues complain about the vaccine mandate. It’s a vaccine or a testing mandate,” said an animated Kaine on the Senate floor. “What my colleagues are asking is that people be protected so that they can go to work with a deadly illness, infect colleagues and still get a paycheck. And still get a salary!’
Lee was joined in the effort by fellow Republicans, Senator Roger Marshall of Kansas, Ted Cruz of Texas and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin.
Only one Republican in the House, Rep. Adam Kinzinger, voted alongside the Democratic majority to keep the government open – in a vote of 221-212
Credit committee chairman, Representative Rosa DeLauro, said the deal included virtually no new spending, but $7 billion for Afghan refugees.
Knowing the emergency bill would pass the House, the House Freedom Caucus encouraged Senate Leader Mitch McConnell to delay legislation in the Senate, but the Kentucky Republican indicated he didn’t want a closure.
“We will not close,” he told reporters earlier this week. “I think we’re getting there, and certainly no one has to worry about a government shutdown.”
The emergency finance bill contains virtually no new spending except $7 billion for Afghan refugees.
The chairman of the House Appropriation Committee, Rep. Rosa DeLauro, had originally only wanted to extend funding by two weeks, but lawmakers on both sides pushed for a longer timeline to ease the budget for fiscal year 2022.
“With a new February 18 deadline, Republicans have ample time to join us in bipartisan, bipartisan credit negotiations,” DeLauro said in a statement after the House passed the legislation early Thursday night.
Biden’s mandate, which would instruct companies with 100 or more employees to require vaccination or weekly COVID-19 testing, has no start date in sight after the Occupational Safety and Health Administration suspended its implementation last month when a federal court ordered measure blocked.
The mandate was originally scheduled to go into effect on Jan. 4, and companies would have faced a maximum of $136,532 in fines, $13,653 per violation.