Senate passes a bill to keep federal agencies funded

Congress on Thursday night managed out how to turn away an government closure only one day in front of cutoff time, sending a bill to keep government agencies funded through mid-February to President Biden’s work desk.

The Senate passed the momentary spending measure in a 69-28 vote after vulnerability about whether initiative could earn the votes in the midst of pushback from traditionalists who called for language to undermine the administration’s vaccine mandates.

The bill funds the government through Feb. 18 and gives an extra $7 billion to agencies helping evacuees from Afghanistan.

The upper chamber held a decision on an alteration drove by Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) that denied federal dollars being utilized to execute and authorize a progression of Biden-era vaccine mandates. The alteration failed 48-50.

While conservative hardliners threatened to derail the passage of the stopgap spending bill without the changes, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) rallied enough members of his conference to reach the 60 votes needed to keep the federal lights on again.

The House passed the action before in the evening in a 221-212 vote, with Rep. Adam Kinzinger (Ill.) being the sole GOP part to help the action in the lower chamber.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said the transient fix illustrated “congressional irresponsibility” with lawmakers unable to complete their appropriations work in both chambers.

“This bill is a demonstration of the failure of 535 adults, elected by their fellow citizens, to act responsibly … This is a failure,” he said.