Senate advances stopgap funding measure to keep government open before election
Tuesday’s 82-6 cloture vote ended debate on the issue. According to Reuters, the Senate is expected to hold a final vote passing its spending measure, which will continue funding most government programs at current levels, on Wednesday before the government runs out of money at midnight.
President Trump is expected to sign the bill, which will give lawmakers time to reach an agreement on nearly $1.4 trillion in spending, according to Roll Call.
The Senate vote appeared to underscore the bipartisan interest in keeping the government funded at such a critical time. There’s no appetite for a shutdown as the country approaches what’s being described as one of the most consequential elections in U.S. history. The legislation — called a continuing resolution, or CR — would keep every federal agency running at current funding levels.
It came after bipartisan negotiations on a huge COVID-19 relief package imploded and may not be rekindled — especially since the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has upended U.S. politics.
The underlying stopgap measure deals with the 30% of the federal government’s day-to-day budget that goes to Cabinet agency operations funded by Congress each year. The annual appropriations process broke down in the Senate this year and it’s unclear but probably unlikely that the $1.3 trillion in agency spending bills will be enacted this year, even in a post-election lame duck session, especially if Biden is elected to replace Trump.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.