The US Senate passed a bipartisan deal to avert a government shutdown.
The US Senate passed a bipartisan deal to avert a government shutdown with just hours to go before the deadline, following on the heels of a House vote earlier today. The stopgap measure will extend government funding through Nov. 17 and now heads to President Joe Biden’s desk to become law.
- The continuing resolution passed both houses of Congress with large bipartisan majorities. The House supported the bill, which includes $16 billion in disaster relief funds but no aid for Ukraine, by a 335-91 margin. The measure cleared the Senate by an 88-9 vote.
- Speaker Kevin McCarthy put the “clean” continuing resolution on the floor in an effort to stave off a rebellion from the fringes of his caucus led by Rep. Matt Gaetz who made a series of implausible demands without any real goal except apparently the humiliation of Kevin McCarthy.
- McCarthy listened to the vast majority of his conference who were clearly tired of being pushed around by a small minority of House Republicans determined to impose pain on their colleagues with little sense of remorse. As Rep. Don Bacon (R-NE) told Politico, “We’re tired of fucking around with these whack jobs. They voted against it yesterday, so let’s just put up a clean CR.”
- Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY), a member of the “Squad” of far-left lawmakers and a self-described democratic socialist, added to the chaos on Saturday when he pulled the fire alarm in a House office building in an apparent effort to delay the vote to keep the government open.
- Bowman’s spokesperson offered the implausible excuse that Bowman “did not realize he would trigger a building alarm as he was rushing to make an urgent vote.” The far-left Democrat now faces an investigation from the House and Capitol Police and some Republicans are calling for his expulsion from Congress.
- One senator almost held up the funding bill over Ukraine funding, The New York Times reported. Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO) put a hold on the continuing resolution because it did not include any Ukraine aid. Bennet’s holdup was not well received by his fellow senators and he quickly folded.
- CNN reported a bipartisan group of senators pledged to schedule a vote on additional Ukraine funding “in the coming weeks” after it was excluded from the continuing resolution. “I think it’s really important for us to send a message that the dysfunction that we have — in terms of this immediate question about opening or closing the government — doesn’t reflect on our bipartisan commitment to make sure that the United States stays in this battle and that we continue to support the Ukrainian people in their in their fight,” said Bennet in a statement after the vote.
- The Washington Post pointed out that had the government shut down at midnight, more than 820,000 federal employees would’ve been furloughed across the government, forcing them to stay home without pay.
- The Wall Street Journal observed, “In reaching for a compromise, Republicans argued that the party had exhausted its options after dissident conservatives derailed an earlier plan, and said that the only choice now was to pass a bill extending funding at 2023’s $1.6 trillion annual rate through Nov. 17. That squares with major components of the approach being taken in the Senate, except that the Senate version had included an emergency $6 billion for Ukraine.”
- The New York Post noted falsely pulling a fire alarm is a misdemeanor offense in Washington DC punishable by up to 6 months in jail. “NY Democrat Jamaal Bowman literally pulled a fire alarm to stall and prevent our efforts to force a vote to keep the federal government open. Pathetic. Criminal investigation needs to happen,” said Rep. Nick Langworthy (R-NY).
- National Review’s Michael Brendan Dougherty asked, “What was Bowman thinking?” Dougherty continues, “How stupid can one man be? There are cameras everywhere in these office buildings. And currently there are thousands of eagle-eyed staffers always watching the representatives around them for even the slightest possibility of having gossip to bring to Capitol Hill bars after business is done. You will be seen.”
© Dominic Moore, 2023