Congress Passes Spending Bill to Avert Government Shutdown

On December 2, Congress passed a Continuing Resolution to fund the government through February 18, 2022, which President Biden signed early Friday. The passage of the Further Extending Government Funding Act (H.R. 6119) narrowly avoids the federal government shutdown deadline of midnight December 3.

Now Congress must turn to address the looming issue of raising the debt ceiling. The Department of the Treasury has warned Congress that the debt ceiling must be raised to avoid default. Democrats are still considering a plan forward, including using the reconciliation process, which would allow them to pass the measure without Republican support. It is likely that the Democrats will aim to extend the debt ceiling through December 2022, after midterms and before the new Congress.

The Senate also continues plans to take up and pass its version of the Build Back Better Act before the self-imposed Christmas deadline, however it is likely that work on the bill could continue into the new year as debate continues over a multitude of issues including the overall price tag, as well as the bill’s four weeks of paid family leave and Medicare hearing coverage.