Senate send Bill Biden averting a government shutdown
Legislation averting a government shutdown has been approved by the Senate and the measure now goes to the White House, giving bipartisan negotiators additional time to reach an agreement to fund federal agencies until fall.
Thursday's vote raised the required 60 votes to 65 by five, a bipartisan majority. The bill was easily passed by the House a week ago. A shutdown during an election year would negatively affect both parties, especially in the midst of a pandemic and the possibility of Russian involvement in the Ukrainian conflict.
However, politics was sucked into the bill like it was any other must-pass bill. A conservative amendment, COVID-19 vaccine mandates, forced votes before passage, which was one of the year's major hot-button issues. But they were largely defeated across party lines.
Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) and his colleagues introduced a proposal that would have blocked current federal vaccine requirements for the military, government employees and contractors, and health care workers. Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) sponsored another bill that would have prevented federal funds from being used by school districts that impose their own vaccine requirements.
Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.) proposed a similar bill that would require non-binding federal budgets to balance within ten years.
18 Feb 2022