House approves funding extension to avert government shutdown, buying time for spending deal

(WASHINGTON) — The House on Wednesday approved a short-term measure that extends funding for the federal government for another week, through Dec. 23, buying more time for lawmakers to finish crafting a massive omnibus spending bill in the waning days of this Congress.

The vote was 224-201 with nine Republicans joining the Democratic majority.

The legislation next heads to the Senate, which could take it up as soon as Thursday.

Passing a temporary funding bill in the House is a major step to stopping the federal government shutdown that is set to begin Friday at midnight.

The vote comes after appropriators cemented a deal on Tuesday night on a bipartisan framework for the stop-gap bill.

“The legislation before us today is a simple date change that keeps the government up and running as we negotiate the details of final spending bills and complete the work of funding the government programs that meet the needs of hardworking Americans,” House Appropriations Chairwoman Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., said on the House floor on Wednesday.

DeLauro said she felt “encouraged” about the framework agreement which provides “a path forward to enact an omnibus next week.”

The Republican whip team told its members to vote against the short-term funding bill.

At a news conference earlier Wednesday, House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy called for a temporary spending bill that lasted until after Jan. 3, when his party retakes the majority.

“Allow the American people what they said a month ago: to change Washington as we know it today. We can’t afford to spend what the Democrats have,” McCarthy said.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has said he wants the spending negotiations successfully completed and voted on by Dec. 22 — or for another short-term bill to be approved into 2023.

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