Senate Approves $1.2 Trillion Funding Package, Heads to Biden's Desk

White House halts shutdown as funding bill progresses.

by Zain ul Abedin
Senate Approves $1.2 Trillion Funding Package, Heads to Biden's Desk
© Win McNamee/Getty Images

Following an intricate series of legislative maneuvers, the Senate concluded its session in the wee hours of Saturday by passing critical government funding bills. This pivotal development emerged after an eleventh-hour consensus was reached on an amendment, paving the way for swift legislative action.

The passage of the $1.2 trillion funding package marks a significant milestone, bringing an end to a prolonged saga characterized by contentious negotiations, temporary funding measures spanning six months, and sharp ideological divides over fiscal policies and priorities.

The package, which is now en route to President Biden's desk, encapsulates the culmination of a year's worth of bipartisan efforts and political brinkmanship on Capitol Hill. Senate Majority Leader Schumer, addressing the chamber in the early hours, heralded the bipartisan agreement as a victory for the nation.

"After a protracted and challenging day, we've brokered a deal to finalize government funding. This bipartisan achievement, though hard-won, is a testament to our collective perseverance and is decidedly in the public's interest," Schumer remarked.

Shutdown Averted: White House

In anticipation of the bill's passage, the White House announced shortly after midnight that it had halted all shutdown preparations. The Office of Management and Budget expressed "a high degree of confidence" in Congress's imminent approval of the funding measures, ensuring the continuity of government operations.

The legislation, receiving a nod from the House with a 286-134 vote earlier on Friday, witnessed a broad spectrum of support, albeit with notable dissent from some conservative quarters. The majority of Democratic lawmakers endorsed the bill, surpassing Republican support amidst a backdrop of over 100 GOP members casting their votes in opposition.

This $1.2 trillion financial package is a testament to bipartisan cooperation within a deeply fragmented legislative landscape, covering critical sectors including Defense, Homeland Security, and Health and Human Services, among others.

Its approval is poised to ensure government funding until the end of the fiscal year on September 30, thereby averting the risk of government shutdowns that loomed large due to repeated stopgap measures. The legislative journey of this package, initiated under expedited procedures in the House, underscored the necessity of bipartisan support for its passage, reminiscent of the challenges that led to significant leadership changes in the previous year.

As the bill awaits President Biden's signature, Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries commended the effort, emphasizing its importance for American well-being across various domains, from health and safety to economic stability.

This legislative achievement underscores a crucial step forward in addressing the nation's priorities through a lens of unity and cooperation.