Ayyyeee… What’s Goodie Everyone. So I got some tea and it involves a government shutdown being stopped by an approval of a spending bill.
The Senate on Wednesday approved a short term spending bill to avoid a partial government shutdown later this week, a measure that would provide more than $12 billion to Ukraine, steer millions to Jackson, Missippi to deal with its water crisis and deliver billions in domestic disaster aid. The chamber advanced the bill by a vote of 72-23.
Moments before a procedural vote Tuesday night, Senator Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.) asked and Democratic leaders agreed to drop a hard fought provision on permit reform.
“It is unfortunate that members of the United States Senate are allowing politics to put the energy security of our nation at risk,” Manchin said. He continued with, “The last several months, we have seen firsthand the destruction that is possible as Vladimir Putin continues to weaponize energy. A failed vote on something as critical as comprehensive permitting reform only serves to embolden leaders like Putin who wish to see America fail. For that reason and my firmly held belief that we should never come to the brink of a government shutdown over politics, I have asked Majority Leader Schumer to remove the permitting language from the Continuing Resolution we will vote on this evening.”
The bill would fund the government through December 16,2022 giving negotiators more time to work out their differences and agree on government spending for fiscal 2023. The bill, known as a continuing resolution and released late Monday, would avert a shutdown that would begin Saturday.
The deal to speed up the approval process for building new energy projects which Republicans said was necessary to lower rising energy costs was key to Schumer securing the vote of Manchin who is considered the centrist Democrat from West Virginia, for the sweeping climate, health care and a deficit-reduction law President Biden signed in August.
The bill includes a package of aid to Ukraine in its fight against Russian forces, which invaded the country in February but have struggled on the battlefield. Among the funds are $3 billion to provide military assistance, including training, equipment, weapons and logistics support; $1.5 billion to replenish U.S. stocks of equipment provided to Ukraine or to foreign countries that have provided support; and $2.8 billion for continued military, intelligence and other defense support.
An additional $35 million will go to fund responses to “potential nuclear and radiological incidents” in Ukraine, and prevent that material from being stolen.
$1 billion of that will go to help support families struggling with the cost of heating their homes this year and offset the costs of extreme weather events. An additional $20 million will go to water infrastructure projects in Jackson, Miss., whose 160,000 residents no longer have safe drinking water, which was declared an emergency in August by Biden. The resolution also includes $2 billion to respond to the ongoing effects of disasters this year and last. It also transfers funds from a disaster response program at the Defense Department to a program at the State Department helping resettle Afghans.
There is $112.5 million to improve security at U.S. courthouses and federal facilities, and money to extend the National Flood Insurance Program is also included in the legislation. Congress has days to work out its differences and get legislation to Biden for his signature. The House returned Wednesday to vote and approve it.
Credit: The Washington Post, New York Times, The Hill.