Lawmakers reach deal on spending bill, but hurdles remain

Asia's Tech News Daily

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congressional leaders reached agreement Thursday on a stopgap spending bill to keep the federal government running through mid-February, though a temporary shutdown was still possible with some Senate Republicans holding out over the Biden administration’s COVID-19 vaccine mandates for some workers.

Lawmakers reach deal on spending bill, but hurdles remain
© Provided by The Canadian Press

The House was expected to take up the spending measure later in the day. It would extend spending to Feb. 18, keeping it at current levels, though $7 billion is included to support Afghanistan evacuees.

Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, had been pushing for the legislation to cover a much shorter time period, but Republicans were insistent that more time was needed to work out differences on a spending bill covering the entire fiscal year.

“The end date is February 18. While I wish it were earlier, this agreement allows the appropriations process to move forward toward a final funding agreement which addresses the needs of the American people,” DeLauro said in a statement.

If the House approves the measure, as expected, the bill would then be considered by the Senate for passage ahead of a midnight Friday deadline. But conservative Republicans opposed to Biden’s vaccine rules want Congress to take a hardline stand against the mandated shots, even if it means shutting down federal offices over the weekend.

One GOP senator after another left a private lunch meeting Wednesday voicing concern they will be blamed for even a short stoppage of the federal government that will not play well with the public. In the Senate, any single senator can hold up proceedings to stall a vote.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Democrats are prepared to support the funding bill and urged Republicans not to engage in shutdown politics.

“Our Republican colleagues, meanwhile, can either work with us to move the process quickly through the chamber, or they can engage in obstructive tactics that will make a government shutdown almost a certainty,” said Schumer, D-N.Y.

Political backlash over the Biden administration’s coronavirus vaccine mandates has been building for months. The White House sees the vaccinations as the quickest way to end the pandemic that has claimed more than 780,000 deaths in the U.S. Wednesday sparked fresh fears, with the country’s first detected case of a troubling new variant. During the last government shutdown battle in September, Republicans also tried to halt the vaccine mandate.

As the political arguments mount over slapping vaccine requirements on some groups of workers, so too have legal challenges. Courts have been knocking back the Biden administration’s vaccine mandates — including a ruling this week blocking enforcement of a requirement for some health care workers.

For some Republicans, the court cases, along with their own worries about a potentially disruptive government shutdown, are shifting them away from engaging in a high-stakes shutdown.

“One of the things I’m a little concerned about is: Why would we make ourselves the object of public attention by creating the specter of a government shutdown?” said Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, a party leader.

On Wednesday, one Republican, Sen. Mike Lee of Utah, made the case to his colleagues to link the effort to halt the vaccine mandates to the spending bill during a private lunch meeting at the Capitol.

The idea is to have the Senate vote to strip funding from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to implement the Biden administration’s requirement that private employers with 100 or more workers ensure they are vaccinated or regularly tested, senators said.

Lee appears to have backing from a few senators and hardline Republicans in the House. “This is a chance to correct a wrong,” said Sen. Roger Marshall, R-Kan., who launched a similar effort against vaccine mandates during the last government funding battle.

But among most other Republican senators, enthusiasm for a shutdown ran thin.

“I just hate to see a shutdown — shut down the government — because people have been through a lot,” Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., said while exiting the lunch session.

Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, told reporters that with the new coronavirus variant: “There’s too much chaos in our country right now, too much concern about omicron. The last thing we need is more confusion and fear.”

Minority leader Mitch McConnell has been publicly upbeat that there will be no shutdown of the federal government.

“We’re going to be OK,” McConnell, R-Ky., told reporters in the halls of the Capitol.

The Biden administration has pursued vaccine requirements on several groups of workers at it seeks to get more shots in arms to crush the virus, but the effort is facing one setback after another in legal cases.

This week, a federal judge blocked the administration from enforcing a coronavirus vaccine mandate on thousands of health care workers in 10 states. Earlier, a federal appeals court temporarily halted the OSHA requirement that employers with 100 or more workers ensure they are fully vaccinated.

The administration has previously implemented policies requiring millions of federal employees and federal contractors, including military troops, to be fully vaccinated. Those efforts are also being contested in federal courts.

Polling from The Associated Press shows Americans are divided over Biden’s effort to vaccinate workers, with Democrats overwhelmingly for it while most Republicans are against it.

Some Republicans prefer an effort from Sen. Mike Braun, R-Ind., to simply vote to reject the administration’s mandates in a congressional review action expected next week, separate from the federal funding fight.

From the White House, Press Secretary Jen Psaki was confident the government funding bill would be approved by Congress and routine federal operations would not shut down this weekend.

“We have every confidence they will move forward and prevent the government from shutting down,” Psaki said.

She was highly critical of Republicans seeking to prevent the mandates from going into effect.

“These supporters of the former president are advocating for shutting the federal government down, so that 20% of the public who are refusing to get vaccinated or tested can be free to infect their coworkers, our children, filling hospitals,” Psaki said. “They want to shut the government down in order to advocate for people to assert that on society.”

Lisa Mascaro And Kevin Freking, The Associated Press

Internet Explorer Channel Network
Asia's Tech News Daily
News Related

OTHER NEWS

Berichte: Parteiinterne Rebellion gegen Johnson weitet sich aus

© KEYSTONE/AP/Ian Vogler Die parteiinterne Rebellion gegen den britischen Premierminister Boris Johnson nimmt Medienberichten zufolge Fahrt auf. Bis zu 20 Tory-Abgeordnete wollten am Mittwoch Misstrauensschreiben abgeben, schrieb der gut vernetzte ... Read more »

Tonga races to clear runway for volcano aid flights

© Provided by AFP Videos captured by Tongan geologists show a huge ash cloud rising over the island nation during a powerful volcanic eruption that caused a tsunami in the ... Read more »

LAPD identifies suspect in stabbing of UCLA grad student Brianna Kupfer

Police are searching for 31-year-old suspect Shawn Laval Smith, who is considered armed and dangerous and “highly likely to be using public transportation.” LAPD Los Angeles police identified the man ... Read more »

Pakistan's economic woes put PM Khan's future in doubt

© Asif HASSAN The rupee has taken a pounding, losing 12 percent to the dollar since July Housewife Maira Tayyab has considered begging for money to feed her family in ... Read more »

Hong Kong activist Edward Leung released from prison

© Provided by DW Edward Leung coined the now-banned slogan ‘Liberate Hong Kong, Revolution of our Times’ Prominent Hong Kong independence activist Edward Leung has been released after spending four ... Read more »

LAPD searches for a man who stabbed and killed a 24-year-old store employee

Los Angeles police have identified a suspect they’re looking for in the murder of a store employee Thursday in the city’s Hancock Park neighborhood. © Emma McIntyre/Getty Images Flowers were ... Read more »

Ash Barty shows ruthless side in second-round demolition job at Australian Open

© Provided by The Guardian Photograph: Dave Hunt/AAP As ever, Ash Barty the person was understated. And in customary style, Ash Barty the tennis player was ruthless. Another qualifier down, ... Read more »

Bruins retire Willie O'Ree's No. 22: 'Thrilled and overwhelmed' as NHL community, city of Boston light up for pioneer

Willie O’Ree made history in Boston once again on Tuesday night.  Before the puck dropped between the Bruins and Hurricanes, Boston celebrated the first black player to play in an NHL game. O’Ree’s No. 22, was ... Read more »

Islanders 4, Flyers 3 (SO): Wahlstrom ends 18-round shootout after Isles tie it late

In a streaming-only game, the New York Islanders did not play nearly as well tonight against the Philadelphia Flyers as they did last night. And for a little while, it ... Read more »

Pinoy Pride: Swiss luxury brand Bally names Fil-Am Rhuigi Villaseñor as creative director

Pandemic challenges aside, it seems that the year is shaping up to be the peak of Filipino talent and its ascent in the global scene. In the latest marriage between ... Read more »

US law enforcement officials aim to reassure Jewish community in wake of hostage standoff

Top Biden administration law enforcement officials — including the FBI director, the attorney general and the Homeland Security secretary — sought to reassure more than 1,000 members of the Orthodox ... Read more »

Taiwan VP to attend Honduras inauguration with diplomatic ties in balance

Taiwan will send its deputy leader to the inauguration of Honduran president-elect Xiomara Castro, it said Wednesday, as the democratic island faces the potential loss of yet another diplomatic ally ... Read more »

Four French soldiers injured in Burkina Faso bomb blast, says army

© Luc Gnago, Reuters Four French soldiers were wounded in an improvised explosive device blast in northern Burkina Faso, France‘s military told AFP Tuesday evening. “(Their) off-road vehicle activated an IED as ... Read more »

Banjo-Kazooie will join Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack on Jan. 20

© Provided by Dot Esports On Jan. 20, Nintendo Switch users are set to get another classic game available to play via virtual console, and it’s a title fans have ... Read more »

Hong Kong kung fu master intends to run in leadership election

© Reuters/Tyrone Siu Buildings are seen above Hong Kong and Chinese flags, as pro-China supporters celebration after China’s parliament passes national security law for Hong Kong, in Hong Kong By ... Read more »

Leaks suggest you will need to complete the entire Pokédex to capture Arceus in Pokémon Legends: Arceus

© Provided by Dot Esports Pokémon Legends: Arceus won’t release until Jan. 28 on the Nintendo Switch, but early screenshots and information about the game have begun leaking early due ... Read more »

Biden news – live: President to hold news conference as Trump lawyers subpoenaed

LIVE – Updated at 03:12 The White House is planning a Wednesday press conference for Joe Biden to promote his administration’s efforts to combat the Omicron surge and the greater ... Read more »

Konami begins to roll out Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel on available platforms

© Provided by GamePur Over the past few weeks, Konami has slowly dripped out news regarding Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel, the free-to-play online game that is expected to be a big ... Read more »

How to start gearing for endgame content in Elder Scrolls Online

© Provided by GamePur Elder Scrolls Online is a unique MMO is many ways, but perhaps the most unique thing about it is the lack of vertical progression. Once you ... Read more »

Dominate Nurmagomedov, Call Out O'Malley

Cody Stamann will look to snap his two-fight losing streak this Saturday night (Jan. 22, 2022) when he takes on Said Nurmagomedov at UFC 270 in Anaheim, Calif. Following his ... Read more »

Will fans be allowed at the Australian Open 2022?

Tennis returns to Melbourne Park in 2022, with the Australian Open to host the world’s best players at the first Grand Slam of the year. Here is everything you need ... Read more »

Knicks lose crusher in Kemba Walker's return to fall below .500

Kemba Walker’s latest return to the Knicks’ lineup started quietly Tuesday night, but he and his teammates had the Garden rocking in the second half. Another home game only resulted ... Read more »

Alaska court weighs arguments over new election process

© Provided by Associated Press Former Alaska lawmaker Jason Grenn poses for a photo at his office in Anchorage, Alaska, on Friday, Jan. 14, 2022. Grenn was a sponsor of ... Read more »

Ralf Rangnick makes Anthony Martial U-turn as Man Utd pair strike agreement

Manchester United forward Anthony Martial could have a shot at redemption after being included in Ralf Rangnick‘s squad to face Brentford. It comes after the forward spoke to the United ... Read more »

Biden administration to distribute millions of N95 masks from national stockpile

Biden has called wearing masks a “patriotic duty” for Americans. AP / Andrew Harnik The Biden administration will dip into a federal stockpile to distribute millions of free N95 masks ... Read more »

Marathon shootout win brings Islanders back to .500

PHILADELPHIA — Oliver Wahlstrom scored in the ninth round of the shootout Tuesday night and the Islanders beat the Flyers 4-3 to claw their back to .500 after more than ... Read more »

The 2020 election wasn't stolen. But Douglas Frank and his bogus equation claiming otherwise are still winning over audiences.

Douglas Frank, an Ohio math teacher, affixed his Texas flag print bow tie, led a booming rendition of the National Anthem and then walked a crowd through an absurd mathematical ... Read more »

NYPD cop and suspect both shot in the Bronx

The cop and suspect were taken to separate hospitals for their injuries. Christopher Sadowski An NYPD cop and a suspect were both shot in the Bronx on Tuesday night, police ... Read more »

Asia shares drop as Treasury yields hit fresh highs

By Daniel Leussink © Reuters/KIM KYUNG-HOON Ceremony marking the end of trading in 2021 at the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE) in Tokyo TOKYO (Reuters) – Asia’s share markets struggled on ... Read more »

UK PM aims to relax COVID rules amid threat to position

© Provided by Al Jazeera As many as 20 Conservatives elected at the last general election in 2019 plan to submit letters of no confidence in Johnson, according to the ... Read more »

'It's coming': Blues coach's stark Covid-19 warning for Super Rugby Pacific

Blues head coach Leon MacDonald has issued a blunt warning to his side, and Super Rugby Pacific as a whole, as the ever-present threat of Covid-19 continues to loom large. ... Read more »

'The new Sam Simmonds': England's latest ongoing selection snub stuns fans

Eddie Jones has named a 36-strong squad for the 2022 Guinness Six Nations which includes six uncapped players but the bold Australian head coach continued with his rebuilding of the ... Read more »

Spiess-Hegglin kämpft vor Gericht gegen Ringier um Gewinnherausgabe

© KEYSTONE/URS FLUEELER Die ehemalige Zuger Kantonsrätin Jolanda Spiess-Hegglin und das Medienhaus Ringier treffen sich heute Mittwoch vor dem Zuger Kantonsgericht. Beim Prozess fordert Spiess-Hegglin von Ringier die Herausgabe des ... Read more »

Man killed and several injured after bridge collapses in Lancashire

© PA police officers – PA A man has died and several others injured after a vehicle and trailer fell into a river when a bridge collapsed in Roeburndale, Lancashire, ... Read more »

Catriona Matthew among host of high achievers to be recognised with honours

Internationally-acclaimed golfer Catriona Matthew and former Scotland footballer Rose Reilly are among more than 100 people to be honoured at the Palace of Holyrood on Wednesday. The sports stars are ... Read more »

COVID-19 growth rate in many cities outside NCR Plus still accelerating —OCTA

Photo courtesy of Baguio PIO The one-week COVID-19 growth rate in highly urbanized cities (HUCs) outside of NCR Plus continues to accelerate, OCTA Research said Wednesday. “While growth rates have ... Read more »

Hong Kong kung fu master says intends to run in leadership election

© Reuters/Tyrone Siu Buildings are seen above Hong Kong and Chinese flags, as pro-China supporters celebration after China’s parliament passes national security law for Hong Kong, in Hong Kong By ... Read more »

School closures have been made with politics in mind — not science

School closures have been found to harm students in their studies. AP Photo/Jessie Wardarski The long-term closing of schools, and the harm it did to children nationwide, was a decision ... Read more »

Swine fever-hit Philippines sees ‘substantial' growth in hog population

© Provided by Interaksyon MANILA — The Philippines’ swine inventory increased by about 700,000 heads over the last 12 months owing to a repopulation program, following two years of declines ... Read more »

Manila to buy Covid-19 pill after FDA grants compassionate special permit

THE Manila City government is set to procure the treatment drug Bexovid against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted a compassionate special permit ... Read more »
On free-english-test.com you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic