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House passes first funding measure to avert partial government shutdown

WASHINGTON — House lawmakers easily passed a package of six spending bills Wednesday, building momentum for a Senate vote to pass the bill and avoid partial spending. government shutdown by Friday’s deadline.

of 1,050 pages The bill would shut down parts of the government until September, including the departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Interior, Justice and Transportation. The package, known as Minibus, consists of six spending bills, negotiated between the Republican-led House of Representatives and Democratic-led Senate, and supported by President Joe Biden.

Passing the first part of the funding bill is easy. House and Senate appropriations officials must next negotiate agreements on the six remaining spending bills ahead of a separate shutdown deadline of March 22. These bills, which provide funding to government agencies and programs including the Departments of Defense, State and Homeland Security, are expected to be more hotly contested.

The package was passed Wednesday using a fast-track process known as a suspension of the rules, which required a two-thirds majority to pass. The vote was 339-85.

To avoid a partial shutdown starting at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, all 100 senators must agree to an immediate vote on the bill.

far right lawmaker blamed the package They voted against it, arguing that it did little to cut spending and excluded their favorite conservative policy riders.

“That’s a mistake. I think the American people don’t want to see us again and they want to spend more money and accumulate more debt. We’re $34.4 trillion in debt.” .There’s $1 trillion in interest now, and are we going to put money into more programs and undermine the American people?” Chip, a member of the far-right Freedom Caucus, who opposed the policy. asked Congressman Roy (R-Texas).

“You’ve been waiting for the game you keep saying will be tomorrow, haven’t you?” Roy continued. “It’s like…one of those losing sports teams is saying wait until next year, right? Why not try it now?”

But House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-Louisiana) said the political “reality” is that Washington is divided. Republican majority with just 2 votes, “one of the smallest in the history of the House of Representatives.” Mr Johnson’s supporters pointed out that it was the first time since 2018 that the government had not received funding through one large omnibus package.

And Johnson said he is keen to begin negotiations on the next spending bill for the financial year, which begins Oct. 1.

“You can’t turn an aircraft carrier around overnight. So what we did was break the omnibus fever,” Johnson told reporters at his weekly news conference. “We’re very happy now that we’re finally at a point where we can move on. We’re wrapping up FY24 and looking to FY25.”

In recent months, Roy and other conservative rebels have raised the possibility of a forced vote to remove Johnson over his handling of spending negotiations. But despite their deep frustrations, members of the Freedom Caucus are avoiding such threats, at least for now.

“I’m not going to drag Johnson into this issue. We continue to meet with him,” said Rep. Ralph Norman (RS.C.), one of the members of the Freedom Caucus. “But it would be irresponsible for this House to overtake this minibus. It would be irresponsible for this House to spend the kind of money they are spending.”

The spending package passed Wednesday represents a series of painstaking compromises reached nearly halfway through the fiscal year through four stopgap bills to extend shutdown deadlines. Both parties highlighted what they considered important victories.

Republicans touted cuts to the FBI, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. More funding for the Drug Enforcement Administration. Measures to strengthen gun rights for veterans. and restrictions on oil sales to China.

Democrats, meanwhile, say the bill would fully fund the WIC program (Women, Infants, and Children), as well as provide rent assistance, pay raises for firefighters and investment in new air traffic controllers. I welcomed the fact.

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/congress/house-passes-first-funding-package-avert-partial-government-shutdown-rcna142048 House passes first funding measure to avert partial government shutdown

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