What Has to Happen to Avoid a Partial Government Shutdown This Weekend
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What Has to Happen to Avoid a Partial Government Shutdown This Weekend

The spending package, which includes six bills, must make it through both the House and the Senate before the deadline on Friday night, and several lawmakers threaten to complicate the process with proposed amendments. House members are expected to vote on the package Friday morning.

Senate members are hopeful that they can pass the measures Friday night. However, it’s possible that the process could go into the weekend, resulting in a brief partial government shutdown. Both the House and the Senate face lawmakers who are outspoken about their disdain for the spending package.

In the House, Speaker Mike Johnson has drawn the ire of hard-line conservatives who view compromise with Democrats as defeat. The House Freedom Caucus called on Republicans to vote against the package. “A massive spending bill drafted in secrecy and dropped on us in the middle of the night is being rushed to the House floor for a vote with less than 36 hours to review,” the group posted on social media.

In the Senate, GOP Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky left open the possibility of delaying the bill. When asked by Politico if he’d delay approval of the funding package, he said, “We’ll see.” “I’m going to continue to talk about how bad it is to have a $35 trillion debt,” Paul said. What’s in the Spending Package? The package covers funding for over half of the government, including the Department of Homeland Security, the Education Department, the Defense Department, the Labor Department, the Department of Health and Human Services and the State Department. Related: Can Congress Again Avert a Government Shutdown? Johnson called the legislation a “serious commitment to strengthening our national defense by moving the Pentagon toward a focus on its core mission while expanding support for our brave men and women who serve in uniform.”

The package also includes nearly $500 million in funding to hire 22,000 Border Patrol agents. In a win for Democrats, it also includes a funding bump for early childhood education and $1 billion for the Pentagon’s climate change programs. The $1.2 trillion package would also fund the FBI’s headquarters at $200 million in a move that angered Republicans. “The $1.2 trillion, 1000-page swamp-bus released in the dead of night includes $200 MILLION for a new FBI Headquarters So much for those ‘cuts’ to FBI,” GOP Rep. Chip Roy of Texas posted on social media.

What Isn’t in the Spending Package? The package would prohibit funds for the United Nations relief agency for Palestinian refugees through March 25 as the agency faces accusations that some of its workers were involved in Hamas’ October attack on Israel. “Do they consider a win the fact that children are starving to death in Gaza and are going to be unable to get the food and medical supplies they need because of the lack of funding to UNRWA?” independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont told The Hill. “If that’s a win, I’d hate to see what a loss looks like.”

The proposal includes no pay raises for lawmakers, who haven’t seen a pay bump since 2009. It also doesn’t include supplemental funds for Ukraine or Israel, which the Senate passed last month.

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