Senate Passes Major Government Funding Bill, Averts Shutdown

The Senate voted 75-22 to pass a 1,050-page government funding bill, ensuring the operation of key agencies through September. The bill, a combination of six appropriations bills negotiated by bipartisan leaders, funds several departments, including Justice, Commerce, Agriculture, and Transportation. It passed the House with a vote of 339-85.

Senate approval was delayed by Republican demands for amendments, which were resolved with votes on multiple GOP-pushed measures. Senate leaders, aiming to avoid a shutdown, struck a deal on vote timing to keep the bill intact.

The bill's passage averted a partial government shutdown, with President Biden expected to sign it into law before the deadline. However, tougher negotiations loom for the remaining six appropriations bills, including funding for the Pentagon and Department of Homeland Security, which face a March 22 deadline. Negotiators are still working on these bills.

The bill passed Friday contains conservative wins, including cuts to the FBI, EPA, and ATF, achieved by Republicans despite divided government. Democrats highlighted wins such as funding for WIC and food assistance for women and infants.

Despite challenges, leaders are optimistic about getting the remaining bills done. Rep. Rosa DeLauro emphasized the ongoing negotiations, stating that staff from both parties and chambers are working on them. Johnson praised the bill's conservative victories and the ability to achieve them with a historically small House majority.

The successful passage of the funding bill represents a significant step in ensuring the continued operation of critical government functions and services.

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