Congress has avoided a government shutdown by passing a stop-gap spending bill to keep the government running.
Friday was the deadline for lawmakers to have some sort of spending bill in place to keep the government funded. The tension between Republicans and Democrats over government funding has to do with President Biden’s vaccine mandate for business with 100 workers or greater.
The initial spending measure included funding for the enforcement of Biden’s mandate, which Republicans refused to support. The mandate is not being enforced at all at the moment since it is being looked at by courts. The measure approved Thursday night keeps the government open for 11 more weeks and does not have any funding for enforcing the mandate.
All but one GOP member of the House voted no on the stopgap measure. House Republicans have been leaning towards using a government shutdown to curtail the mandate, but Senate Republicans have called that tactic irresponsible. The measure passed the Senate 69-28.
“No. Shutting the government down is part of the dysfunction here,” said Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN) on MSNBC. “Because we don’t do budgets, we don’t mind the business of the biggest business in the world for all the people that depend upon it. We borrow too much money, we spend too much money. Shutting the government down is not going to solve anything.”
But, Braun is adamant that President Biden’s vaccine mandate is something that cannot be allowed to move ahead. He is leading an effort in the Senate to use the Congressional Review Act to get every lawmaker on record on where they stand on the mandate, which would then set up the Congress to overrule Biden’s executive order.
“My street sense, gut feel, was that I could get all Republicans on it once we initiated it and had everyone on it I believe before the Thanksgiving break from our side,” he said. “I’m optimistic we can get a few Democrats.”
And he has. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) has signed on to the push to use the Congressional Review Act to block the mandate. With Manchin’s support of the resolution, it is expected to pass the Senate once it comes up for a vote.