On Tuesday, the U.S. House of Representatives voted in favor of a bipartisan plan to keep the government funded through January avoiding a government shutdown. New Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R-Louisiana) was abandoned by the ultra-conservative Freedom Caucus so he was forced to negotiate with Democrats to craft the package to keep the government operating. Congresswoman Terri Sewell (D-AL07) voted with Speaker Johnson in favor of the Continuing Resolution (CR) to keep the federal government open and avoid the potentially disastrous consequences of a shutdown.
The CR funds the federal government at current levels through January 19th for certain agencies and February 2nd for others. It passed the House of Representatives by an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote of 336 to 95 and will now make its way to the U.S. Senate.
“We in Congress have a responsibility to the American people to keep the government open and protect the programs that families rely on,” said Rep. Sewell. “While I have some concerns about the staggered funding deadlines, this measure prevents a shutdown and protects against the extreme cuts pushed by my colleagues across the aisle. Families in Alabama can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that their Thanksgiving plans will not be affected by a government shutdown.”
Sewell wrote on X, “Tonight, I voted for a bipartisan measure to keep the government open and protect the programs that Alabamians rely on. While I have concerns about the staggered funding deadlines, this measure prevents a shutdown and protects against extreme cuts pushed by my GOP colleagues.”
Two Democrats and 93 Republicans voted in opposition to the bill.
The bifurcated bill will extend funding at current levels until January 19 for programs and agencies for four appropriations bills: Military Construction and Veterans Affairs; Agriculture, Rural Development and Food and Drug Administration; Energy and Water Development; and Transportation, Housing and Urban Development. It extends funding for the remaining eight at current levels through February 2. It would also extend the authorization of programs and authorities in the Farm Bill until September 30 avoiding a showdown over farm programs and supplemental nutrition assistance programs for ten months.
Congressman Barry Moore (R-AL02) voted against the legislation.
“Our country is nearly $34 trillion in debt, and over 60% of American families are living paycheck-to-paycheck,” said Moore in a statement. “I voted against this continuing resolution because it contained no spending cuts and Americans cannot afford more of the status quo. I am committed to working with Speaker Johnson on the last five of twelve appropriations bills that contain significant cuts and a Farm Bill that prioritizes the needs of our producers.”
The legislation now heads to the Senate, where it has support from both party leaders. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky).
“We would like to do it as soon as possible,” Schumer told reporters. “Both McConnell and I want to avoid a shutdown, so getting this done obviously before Friday at midnight — we know the Senate has lots of arcane rules. But McConnell and I are going to work together, we talked about this yesterday, to get it done as quickly as possible.”
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