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Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Senate announces deal to fund government ahead of Friday deadline to avoid shutdown

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WASHINGTON — The Senate voted Tuesday to continue funding the government until mid-December, ahead of a Friday deadline to avoid a shutdown.

The 72-23 procedural vote sets the stopover en route, which would leave the government running until December 16, as congressional leaders try to negotiate an agreement that would last until September next year.

The short-term financing measure includes money for aid to Ukraine, Afghan resettlement, parole and security improvements for US courts.

It is not clear when the Senate will vote. sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., who has single-handedly forced a government shutdown through a vote extension, said Tuesday that “I haven’t decided yet” whether he will try to delay the legislation.

After the Senate passes the measure, the House will have to vote to send it to President Joe Biden’s office for its signature before government funding ends at midnight Friday.

Tuesday’s test vote came after Senator Joe Manchin, DW.Va., rejected his top legislative priority: a deal to overhaul the permitting process for energy and infrastructure projects. Many Republicans — and a few Democrats — opposed his move, with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., promising him his casting vote for the previously passed Inflation Reduction Act, or IRA.

Republicans, still angry over Manchin’s vote for the Democrats-only bill in August, credibly threatened to cut the government’s financing bill if his approval measure were passed.

“A failed vote on something as crucial as a comprehensive reform that allows for reform only serves to bring leaders like… [Russian President Vladimir] Putin who wants to see America fail. For that reason, and my firm belief that we should never be on the brink of a government freeze because of politics, I have asked Majority Leader Schumer to remove the consent language from the continuation resolution we will vote on tonight,” Manchin said in a statement.

Moments earlier, Manchin had cuddled with Schumer in his office in his office, two assistants familiar with the case said.

sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., celebrated the removal of the licensing provision, calling it a “big oil-side deal” in a statement. “This is a victory for the survival of the planet and a great loss for the fossil fuel industry,” he said.

Still, Manchin’s efforts are not dead.

sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, a climate hawk, broke with some of his forward-thinking colleagues by backing Manchin’s proposal.

“I think this was an important first step for the environmental community to have that family conversation about what it takes to achieve our clean energy goals,” he said, adding: “It would be good for the planet.”

Amid political tensions and weeks before a controversial by-election, the path forward in allowing is not clear.

Schatz said “debates continue” on how to revive the effort, calling the defense license law the “most likely” vehicle. “We will all have to regroup and see what is possible,” he said. “It just can’t take 15 years to ship.”

During the Senate vote, Manchin reached out to Republicans to discuss restarting negotiations on a permit package, including Senator Bill Cassidy, R-La., Cassidy said.

Manchin had a lengthy conversation with majority leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., on the floor hours after McConnell greased his bill by slamming Republicans against an issue many of them are supporting on his face. McConnell “managed to stop something that I thought was desperately needed now. But we have other avenues,” Manchin said afterwards.

Manchin said GOP leaders offered to sit down by the end of the year to discuss a path forward. “If it makes it better? Sure,’ he said.

sen. Kevin Cramer, RN.D., who also comes from an energy-producing state, labeled Manchin’s proposal “worse in some ways than what we already have.” However, he left the door open to negotiate a two-tier product in the future.

“The fact that Joe traded his vote for allowing reforms doesn’t make allowing reforms any less of a noble undertaking,” Cramer said. “So I’m not going to punish Joe for voting for the IRA.”

Some conservatives, such as Senator Roger Marshall, R-Kan., are eager to pass a short-term financing bill that will extend through January, when Republicans may have the majority after the midterm elections, putting them in a stronger negotiating position. come up with the Democrats.

“I have no problem shutting down the government when it comes to inflationary spending,” Marshall said.

But Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chair Richard Shelby, R-Ala., said his colleague doesn’t have the votes: “I think that’s a minority.”

Shortly after the Senate vote, House Republican leaders announced that they would pressure members of their caucus to vote against the financing bill, leaving GOP votes in the lower house in doubt.

Kate Santaliz contributed.


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