Congressional Update: Shutdown Avoided & Infrastructure Package

On Thursday, the Senate passed a bipartisan stopgap funding measure in a 65-35 vote to keep the government open after the new fiscal year begins on October 1st. The Senate was able to pass the measure after dropping a provision that would suspend the debt ceiling until after the midterm elections. That provision had been included in an earlier version of the stopgap funding measure, which Republicans blocked earlier this week on a procedural vote of 48-50.File:US Congress 02.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

The House then voted to pass the amended continuing resolution (HR 5305) after the Senate passed the measure. Once President Biden signs the bill into law, federal agencies’ current spending levels are extended through December 3rd, giving additional time for Congress to reach agreement on fiscal 2022 appropriations.

Up next, the House will now turn to the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill, which has passed the Senate. House leadership is working to strike a deal with progressive Democrats, who have said they won’t vote for the infrastructure package before reaching a deal on the larger $3.5 trillion reconciliation spending bill. Congress still has a few weeks to work through the debt ceiling suspension; the House passed a stand-alone bill this week to waive the statutory debt ceiling until after the midterm elections. Meanwhile, Senate Republicans are not supporting the bill and are pushing for Democrats to use the reconciliation process to pass the debt-ceiling increase so that it can pass along party lines with a simple majority, rather than the traditional 60 votes needed to pass a bill in the Senate.