Lawmakers, Biden Approve Short-Term Funding Bill

Lawmakers Come to Agreement on Framework for Omnibus Package

( – The fiscal period for the federal government runs from October 1 through September 30 each year, and Congress must iron out spending details for the next fiscal year, which began October 1 this year. This takes place annually with negotiators from both the Upper and Lower Chambers trying to come to an agreement.

This year, short-term government funding was set to run out by December 16, putting pressure on lawmakers to strike a deal to keep the government functioning. On December 13, House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) announced the group has a “framework” that gives the committee a route to pass an omnibus spending bill before December 23. The short-term solution ended up passing the chambers and gaining the president’s approval.

What’s In the Bill?

The committee didn’t detail what could be in the package or the amounts each initiative could expect. The omnibus spending package, by definition, is a conglomeration of spending measures for a whole host of different areas. Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) recently said Republicans and Democrats were still about $25 billion apart on a spending agreement. He estimated the package would end up being around $1.65 trillion in total, according to Fox News. This figure doesn’t include Medicare and Social Security. According to reports, the bill is ultimately expected to cost about $1.7 trillion. The sticking points for the agreement reportedly center around how much each side wants to pay for domestic and defensive expenditures.

Although little details emerged about the pathway to the next fiscal year’s spending, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) released a statement, calling the achievement “bipartisan” and “bicameral.”

Biden Signs Short-term Bill

The government passed a short-term bill in an effort to give negotiators enough time to iron out any outstanding details. The measure should be enough to keep the country going for about a week. Fox News reported that Republicans were seeking a short-term measure to last through the middle of January when they take control of the House. That way, they would have more negotiating power.

However, President Joe Biden signed the spending bill on December 16, which will avert a government shutdown for the coming days. Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer said when talking to the Chamber that the goal is to get the full package passed next week. He added that he doesn’t expect everyone to get “everything they want,” but he believes there will be parts of the package everyone can support.

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