Home Top News House to vote on $460 billion government funding package ahead of Friday shutdown deadline

House to vote on $460 billion government funding package ahead of Friday shutdown deadline


The House of Representatives is expected to take one step closer to ending a brutal, months-long fight over government funding on Wednesday with a vote on a nearly $460 billion spending package.

The 1,050-page bipartisan legislation is a package of six bills dealing with departments and agencies whose funding expires on Friday – Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA); the Justice and Commerce Departments; Energy and Water Development; the Department of Interior; and Transportation and Housing.

Funding tied to Congress’ six remaining bills, which include the Department of Homeland Security and the Pentagon, expires on March 22.

If passed, the House will have made major strides toward ending a divisive chapter fueled by disagreements over how federal funds are spent. 

Much of the division has been led by GOP hardliners who have wielded outsize influence as a result of House Republicans’ razor-thin majority. House Freedom Caucus members and their allies have called for their leaders to leverage a government shutdown to force significant spending cuts and conservative policy measures. But many have dismissed these as dead on arrival by Democrats who control the Senate and White House.

It’s led to friction within the House GOP, with those hardliners lodging protest votes on procedural measures that have temporarily paralyzed the House floor. A small group of right-wing lawmakers joined all House Democrats last October to boot House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R– Calif., from power, the first time in history a speaker was ousted, The move was precipitated by him working across the aisle to avoid a shutdown.

Those disagreements are the same reason House GOP leaders are bypassing traditional mechanisms to rush the bill to the floor under suspension of the rules – meaning the threshold for passage rises from a simple majority to two-thirds.

Because Republicans are operating under their slimmest House majority in modern history – just two seats – the decision guarantees that Democratic support will be necessary for passage.

Traditionally, any bill being considered for a House-wide vote would have to first go through the House Rules Committee, which sets parameters for amendments and debate. The full House then votes on the rules for debate – usually along partisan lines – before the final vote.

Before 2023, a rule vote had not failed in two decades. But GOP hardliners’ weaponization of them has led to House leaders skirting them altogether on must-pass bills. 

It’s left members of every faction of the House GOP frustrated, though they disagree about the blame.

‘The House Freedom Caucus is actively undermining the work of Congress. By [forcing] a bipartisan minibus package to be passed under suspension of the rules instead of a simple majority, these people have demonstrated that they have no real solutions… they just crave the spotlight,’ a senior House GOP aide told Fox News Digital.

Meanwhile, Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa., said the lack of an amendment process that comes with suspending rules tells voters ‘their concerns don’t matter.’

‘Funding a runaway border and endangering our country is the ‘bipartisanship’ claim by those who continue voting to bankrupt our nation,’ Perry told Fox News Digital.

In comments made to reporters last week, House Freedom Caucus Chairman Bob Good, R-Va., suggested GOP leaders were working against their own interests by passing bills under suspension. He called the move ‘a terrible decision.’

‘There’s really no ability to block bills that are passed under suspension that the Democrats want passed,’ Good said. ‘I actually had a Democrat member tell me this morning, ‘We like it when you’re in charge because nothing changes, but you guys get all the blame.’’

If passed, the bill will have to go through the Senate and get President Biden’s signature to avoid a partial shutdown by the end of this week.

This post appeared first on FOX NEWS

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