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Senate approves budget to avoid partial government shutdown

Congress still has until March 22 to reach an agreement on six other funding bills.


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The Senate passed a bill Friday to avoid a partial government shutdown. The bill was sent to the White House for President Biden’s signature Saturday. The Senate anticipates that the Office of Management and Budget has suspended preparations for the partial shutdown, meaning that the president is likely to sign the bill into law on Saturday.

The 1,050-page text contains six bills covering funding for various federal programs and agencies, such as budgets for the Departments of Justice, Agriculture, Commerce, Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development. It allocates, in total, some $460 billion.

The bill passed the Senate with 75 votes for and 22 against, while in the House it passed 339-85 during a session on Wednesday. It was promoted by House Speaker Mike Johnson, a Republican, and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a Democrat, who after the approval posted:

"It’s refreshing to see some semblance of regular order and avoid a partial shutdown or another continuing resolution," said Republican Sen. Kevin Cramer celebrating the passage of the bill. He made special mention of the bipartisan support the proposal received "from both conservative Republicans and left-leaning Democrats." He also noted:

This bill is consistent with Fiscal Responsibility Act spending caps, resulting in the first cut to non-defense, non-VA spending in a decade. It also secures important conservative policy wins to protect Second Amendment liberties, block federal funding for abortions, prohibit DOJ from targeting parents or religious organizations, and slashes billions from the President’s budget request.

Republicans in the House Freedom Caucus expressed concern over the bill, asserting that it called into question "every single Republican policy priority" and that it "surrenders Republicans' leverage to force radical Democrats to the table to truly secure the southern border and end the purposeful, dangerous mass release of illegal aliens into the United States."

The road ahead

Congress approved a bill a week ago that postponed the shutdown until this Friday. On that occasion, both parties advanced negotiations on six bills that they sealed this Friday with their votes.

Another six funding projects have still yet to be agreed upon. With a deadline of March 22, they include funding for the Departments of Homeland Security and Defense, among others.