By Ivan Maltsev
To avoid a shutdown, the initiative must be taken before midnight on December 3.
U.S. lawmakers have reached an agreement on temporary funding of federal institutions until February 18 to prevent the suspension of government work this weekend. This was announced on Thursday by the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, Rosa DeLauro.
“An agreement has been reached on a resolution to continue funding,” DeLauro said in a statement.
According to her, the initiative will be submitted to the House of Representatives, although it is unclear how soon it will be submitted to the congressmen.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said a debate and vote on the measure would take place on Thursday.
By midnight on Friday, Congress needs to pass a legislative measure that will provide funding to the federal government amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, another surge in morbidity, and concerns about the emergence of a new strain of Omicron in the United States.
However, a group of Conservative Republicans is threatening to postpone consideration of the proposal in the Senate because of Biden’s orders on mandatory vaccination against COVID-19. This increases the likelihood that the government will have to suspend work over the coming weekend while the Senate debates the issue of temporary funding.
However, the Republican leader in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, said on Thursday morning that Republicans would not block the bill on temporary government funding, adding that closing the government due to disagreement with the requirements of the White House on mandatory vaccination of COVID-19 does not make sense.
“We’re not going to shut down the government,” McConnell said in an interview with Fox News.
A government shutdown would be a political failure for both parties, but primarily for the Democrats, who have a slight advantage in both houses of Congress.
The Federal government is also nearing the $28.9 trillion borrowing ceiling, which the Treasury Department estimates could be reached as early as December 15. Failure to extend the status quo or raise the borrowing ceiling on time can cause a government default, which threatens economic disaster.
The fact that the temporary funding will continue until mid-February means that the Republicans won the negotiations between the legislators, which took place behind closed doors. Democrats insisted on taking the measure, which will last until the end of January, while Republicans demanded to extend the deadline for the end of temporary funding until February or March to keep spending at levels with the administration of the previous president, Republican Donald Trump.