WASHINGTON — House Democrats are planning to bring a short-term government funding bill to the floor Thursday that would prevent a shutdown before the Friday night deadline.
House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., announced Thursday morning that House Democrats have agreed with Republican negotiators to move forward with a continuing resolution that would keep the government funded through Feb. 18.
She said that the bill has “virtually no changes to existing funding or policy,” although she said that it includes $7 billion for Afghanistan evacuees. She also said that this agreement will allow lawmakers to craft a longer-term agreement that would take effect next year.
The House held two key procedural votes on Thursday in support of the continuing resolution to avert a shutdown before midnight tomorrow. The vote allows for debate on the bill and then a final vote on the measure later Thursday afternoon.
The White House urged “swift passage” of that stopgap measure in a statement of administration policy Thursday and added that it’s essential that Congress uses “the coming weeks to engage in robust bipartisan negotiations to reach agreement on appropriations and avoid the devastating effects of a full-year continuing resolution.”
Preventing a government shutdown this week, however, isn’t guaranteed. Republicans in the House and the Senate have signaled that they want to delay passage of a spending bill over objections to the Biden administration’s Covid-19 vaccine mandates for workers.
The conservative House Freedom Caucus urged Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., in a letter Wednesday to slow down the process in the Senate.
The conservative caucus is essentially threatening a potential shutdown to push back against President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandates, which have been tied up in the courts.
A pair of Republican senators, Mike Lee of Utah, and Roger Marshall of Kansas, are also threatening to delay the government spending bill if funding to enforce vaccine mandates is included.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., lashed out at Republicans Thursday when asked about their efforts and said she doesn’t even know if conservatives would have the votes to block the measure.
“But it is yet again a double, a double sense of irresponsibility,” she told reporters at her weekly press conference. “First of all, they shut down government, and then they shut down science.”
“This is so silly that we have people [who] are anti-science, anti-vaccination, saying they’re going to shut down government over that,” she added.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said on the Senate floor Thursday, “Unfortunately, it seems Republican dysfunction could be a roadblock to averting an unnecessary and dangerous government shutdown … Let’s be clear, if there is a shutdown, it will be a Republican anti-vaccine shutdown.”
McConnell, meanwhile, made it clear Tuesday that he doesn’t want a shutdown.
“We won’t shut down,” he told reporters. “I think we’ll get there, and certainly nobody should be concerned about a government shutdown.”
Congress must pass a government funding measure by the end of Friday or risk a shutdown Saturday.
Rebecca Shabad is a congressional reporter for NBC News, based in Washington.
Teaganne Finn is a political reporter for NBC News.
Leigh Ann Caldwell and Haley Talbot contributed.
The post House Democrats announce plan to fund the government, prevent a shutdown appeared first on NBC News.