'Funding the government isn't a great achievement - it's a bare minimum of what we need to get done,' said President Biden on FridayHe signed legislation funding the federal government until Feb 18 The Senate voted 69 to 28 to keep the government open on Thursday night The deal hatched in the Senate allowed for a vote on a single amendment, the Lee-Marshall amendment, which would defund Biden's vaccine mandate The amendment vote failed, with 48 Republicans voting to defund the vaccine mandate and 50 voting against it
President Joe Biden signed legislation funding the federal government until mid-February, the White House said on Friday, avoiding a shutdown after some Republicans threatened a standoff over COVID-19 vaccine mandates.
The move keeps federal agencies running until Feb. 18, giving Congress another 11 weeks to thrash out either another short-term fix or a longer agreement to keep the government running.
‘Funding the government isn’t a great achievement – it’s a bare minimum of what we need to get done,’ said Biden earlier in the day.
He thanked the Senate for passing the bill in a bipartisan vote on Thursday night.
‘And I want to urge Congress to use the time this bill provides to work toward a bipartisan agreement on a full year funding bill that makes the needed investments 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 Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and 18 other Republicans joining Democrats to keep the government open.
‘Funding the government isn’t a great achievement – it’s a bare minimum of what we need to get done,’ said President Biden on Friday morning. He signed legislation funding the government through 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 Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and 18 other Republicans voting with Democrats
After the House passed the same bill, 221-212, with just one Republican, retiring Rep. Adam Kinzinger voting alongside the Democratic majority earlier Thursday evening, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer arrived on the floor to announce the upper chamber had a deal.
‘I am pleased to announce that an agreement has been reached between Democrats and Republicans that will allow the Senate to take up and pass the continuing resolution to fund the government through February 18,’ Schumer said. ‘With this agreement there will be no government shutdown.’
The deal hatched in the Senate allowed for a vote on a single amendment, the Lee-Marshall amendment, which would defund Biden’s vaccine mandate.
That amendment vote failed, with 48 voting to defund the vaccine mandate and all 50 Democrats voting against it.
Other Republicans who voted alongside 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 avert a government shutdown.
The deal hatched in the Senate allowed for a vote on a single amendment, the Lee-Marshall amendment, with Sen. Mike Lee lambasting President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate on the Senate floor shortly after Schumer’s announcement
Sen. Mike Lee – who was spearheading the effort to use the government shutdown deadline to defund Biden’s vaccine mandate – spoke on the Senate floor directly after Schumer’s announcement of a deal.
Lee argued that the federal government doesn’t have the power to mandate vaccines and that ’45 million Americans’ are being forced to choose between ‘an unwanted medical procedure and losing their job.’
‘I want to be very clear: I’ve been vaccinated, my family’s been vaccinated. I believe that the development of the vaccine is something of a modern medical miracle, I’m grateful for the vaccine. I think the vaccine is helping Americans be safe from the effects of COVID,’ he said.
‘It’s not the government’s job, it’s not within the government’s authority to tell people that they must be vaccinated and if they don’t get vaccinated they’ll get fired. It’s wrong. It’s immoral,’ the Utah Republican continued.
Lee said it was ‘tragic’ that Americans had to have their jobs threatened ‘as a result of a presidential temper tantrum.’
He blasted Democrats for fighting ‘tooth and nail to prevent the United Senate from taking the vote,’ trying to point the blame at the other party had a government shutdown occurred.
‘They’d rather shut down the government and make everything worse, than they would stand accountable for what they’re doing,’ Lee said.
Lee called the amendment vote ‘wonderful’ and ‘fantastic.’
‘It should not have resulted in days and days of shutdown press and days and days of deflection, accusing other people of wanting to shut down the government when all we wanted to do was have a vote,’ Lee claimed.
After Lee’s speech, Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia, speaking for the Democrats, pointed out that the vaccine mandate in question allowed a carve-out for people who didn’t want to get vaccinated, as they could get tested for COVID-19 weekly instead.
‘I’ve heard my colleagues complain about the vaccine mandate. It’s a vaccine or testing mandate,’ an animated Kaine said on the Senate floor. ‘What my colleagues are asking is that people be protected so that they can go to work with a deadly disease, infect coworkers and still get a paycheck. And still get a paycheck!’
Lee had been joined by fellow Republicans, Sen. Roger Marshall of Kansas, Ted Cruz of Texas and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin in the effort.
Just one House Republican, Rep. Adam Kinzinger, voted alongside the Democratic majority to keep the government open – in a vote of 221-212
Appropriations Committee Chair Rep. Rosa DeLauro said that the deal included virtually no new spending, but it does include $7 billion for Afghan refugees
The House Freedom Caucus, knowing the stop-gap bill would pass the House, encouraged Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to stall the legislation in the Senate, but the Kentucky Republican signaled he had no appetite for a shutdown.
‘We won’t shut down,’ he told reporters earlier this week. ‘I think we’ll get there, and certainly nobody should be concerned about a government shutdown.’
The stop-gap funding bill contains virtually no new spending, except for $7 billion for Afghan refugees.
House Appropriations Committee Chair Rep. Rosa DeLauro had originally only wanted to extend the funding for two weeks, but lawmakers on both sides pushed for a longer timeline to hash out fiscal year 2022’s budget.
‘With a new deadline of February 18, there is ample time for Republicans to join us for bipartisan, bicameral appropriations negotiations,’ DeLauro said in a statement after the House passed the legislation, early Thursday evening.
Biden’s mandate, which would order businesses with 100 or more employees to require vaccination or weekly COVID-19 tests, has no start date in sight after the Occupational Safety and Health Administration suspended implementation of it last month when a federal court blocked the measure.
The mandate was originally scheduled to take effect Jan. 4, and businesses would have faced a maximum of $136,532 in fines, $13,653 per violation.