The House of Representatives has passed a stopgap continuing resolution (CR) bill to avoid a Federal government shutdown and fund government operations until March 11.

House Appropriations Chair Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., introduced the bill, which House members approved by a 272-162 vote.

The bill gives Congress an extra three weeks to take action on an omnibus package for fiscal year 2022, as the current CR approved in December 2021 expires on Feb. 18.

“The continuing resolution passed by the House today reflects our Majority’s determination to ensure that the work of government is not disrupted by a shutdown,” House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., said after the House vote late on Tuesday. “We cannot, however, simply allow the government to operate under last year’s funding levels for the remainder of the 2022 fiscal year.”

Rep. Hoyer said he is “determined to bring an omnibus to the floor” by March 8, so it can be signed by President Biden in time for the new March 11 funding-expiration deadline.

The stopgap bill now heads to the Senate, where Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said he intends to “have the Senate take it up quickly and in time before the February 18th deadline.”

Full-Year Funding Progress

“This CR provides a little more time to reach a deal for a spending package; it is the responsible and prudent path forward that eliminates the risk of a shutdown,” Sen. Schumer said Tuesday on the Senate floor.

“My colleagues have made good progress, and I am optimistic that Democrats and Republicans can soon arrive at a topline deal for an omnibus,” he added. “I am more confident than ever before that we can reach agreement for an omnibus by March 11th, which is far more preferable to the alternative, a CR for the rest of the year.”

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., called the CR “an obvious, commonsense step.” However, he brought attention to three boxes he needs to be checked for an omnibus to pass the Senate: “parity for defense; keeping longstanding bipartisan policy riders in; and keeping new poison pills out.”

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Grace Dille
Grace Dille
Grace Dille is MeriTalk's Assistant Managing Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.