U.S. House Passes Bill to Fund Government Through Feb. 18, Sends it to Senate to Avoid Government Shutdown

The United States House of Representatives approved on Dec. 2 a short-term government funding bill as Congress tries to prevent a shutdown before the Dec. 3 deadline.

The House passed the legislation with a vote of 221 to 212 — with one Republican, Representative Adam Kinzinger, joining all of the Democrats to pass it.

If Senate passes the bill and President Joe Biden signs it into law, it will fund large parts of the government until Feb. 18.

According to House Appropriations Committee Chair Rosa DeLauro, the bill has “virtually no changes to existing funding or policy,” but it includes $7 billion for Afghan evacuees.

The legislation now heads to the Senate where it could face complications as a group of Republicans have threatened to delay the passage of the bill unless it bans funding for COVID-19 vaccine mandates.

The House Freedom Caucus sent a letter to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on Dec. 1, urging him to “use all your procedural tools at your disposal to deny timely passage” of the legislation.

Failure to pass the legislation by the end of Dec. 3 means the government would enter a brief shutdown the following day.

However, McConnell made it clear on Nov. 30 that he does not want a government shutdown.

“We won’t shut down. I think we’ll get there, and certainly nobody should be concerned about a government shutdown,” McConnell told reporters.

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