House Passes Stopgap Bill To Fund Government; Raise Debt Ceiling

House Democrats on Tuesday voted to approve a stopgap bill to keep the federal government running and suspend the debt ceiling past the 2022 midterms.

In a 220-211 vote along party lines, the House passed the measure, setting up a likely clash in the Senate where Republicans threatened to block it.

Democratic leaders tied the debt ceiling increase to the government spending bill in an effort to push Republicans on passing both.

The Republicans are using the issues to protest the Democrats’ $3.5 trillion spending package being considered in the House and Senate. The Democrats are trying to use the budget resolution process to get around Republican opposition.

Ten Republicans would have to join Democrats for the bill to pass in the Senate.

The bill also includes $28.6 billion in disaster relief for victims of Hurricane Ida in Louisiana and the East Coast and $6.3 billion to assist with the relocation efforts for Afghanistan evacuees.

“As our nation continues to face the COVID-19 pandemic and other serious challenges, the Extending Government Funding and Delivering Emergency Assistance Act meets the continuing needs of people who live paycheck to paycheck,” committee Chairwoman Rosa DeLauro said in a statement.

“It is critical that Congress swiftly pass this legislation to support vital education, health, housing and public safety programs and provide emergency help for disaster survivors and Afghan evacuees.”

The federal government will cease funding after Sept. 30 unless the House and Senate act to end the standoff leading to a partial government shutdown. There were two shutdowns under the Trump administration, with that last one lasting 35 days after a dispute over funding for the U.S. – Mexico border wall. That shutdown put non-essential government employees and contractors on the streets, leaving national parks and museums, among other facilities, closed.

House Democrats on Tuesday ultimately stripped the package of $1 billion to fund Israel’s missile defense system. The aid, instead, will be included in the defense spending bill.

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