Senate Narrowly Avoids Government Shutdown; Passes Spending Bill

The Senate was in session into the wee hours of the morning Friday night as it neared the final hours of the government being funded. With less than an hour before midnight, the stop-gap spending bill passed with a 63-36 vote.


Some Senate Democrats, led by Sen. Joe Manchin (D -WV) — himself a possible Trump cabinet appointee — had intimated that they would attempt to block the bill over 16,500 miners who will lose their healthcare benefits at the end of the month. The Democrats were pushing for a one-year fix for the miners, rather than the $45 million for four months already allocated for in the bill. Sen. Manchin ultimately conceded that he did not have the votes to block the bill and the procedural vote went forward as planned.

Democrats weren’t the only ones that had problems with the bill. Thirteen Republicans voted against the bill as well, including conservative pillars like Senators Ben Sasse, Rand Paul and Mike Lee. But also included defense hawks like Senators Linsay Graham and John McCain. McCain tweeted his opposition from the Senate floor earlier in the day:


The spending bill funds the government through April 28th, giving the incoming Trump administration and new Congress time to settle in and begin to work with Congress on legislative priorities.

The bill also includes an expedited process for getting President-elect Trump’s defense secretary nominee, Gen. James Mattis, the waiver he needs to assume the position.

President Obama signed the bill shortly after midnight, meaning that technically there was a short period when the government was not funded.

The Senate adjourned its last session of the year at 6:39 am Saturday but set up three-day pro forma schedule to block recess appointments by lame duck President Obama.


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