Phew!!! Government Shutdown Averted…Narrowly.

The federal government will continue to operate, thanks to the $1.2 trillion dollar spending bill that was passed by the House on Friday and the Senate early on Saturday. President Biden signed it shortly after the Senate passed it. This bill will keep the government running through October, meaning no more of these short term CR’s that the House GOP keep pushing through.

Shortly after signing the bill, President Biden put out a statement saying that “neither side got everything it wanted” and reminded Democrats that most of the Republican pushed “extreme” cuts were flat out rejected.

The vote in the House was close, with Democrats largely pushing the bill across the finish line. This enraged the far right nutjobs in the Republican side and actually led to Marge Three Toes filing a motion to vote to remove Speaker Johnson. It won’t even be considered until after the two-week spring break the House is on, so it may have just been a performative stunt.

The Senate Republicans were not without their own version of shenanigans. They had tried to push through amendment votes on immigration, Iran sanctions and spending in other areas. But altering the bill to add those poison pills would have guaranteed a shutdown, as the process to review and pass the bill in the House would have started all over again…and been delayed by at least two weeks.

Some of the additional positive things to note from the bill:

  • Funding for Immigration and Customs Enforcement was increased and will support roughly 42,000 detention facility beds
  • Border Patrol would see funding for 22,000 agents
  • Funding for U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) was suspended for the next 12 months after reports came out that numerous employees of UNRWA participated in the October 7th attack in Israel
  • A 6% cut to foreign aid programs and a change in the law regarding flying non-official flags at U.S. embassies. This will probably lead to rainbow pride flags no longer being flown, which will calm down the Republicans who are terrified of colorful rainbow flags
  • Democrats removed amendments that limited abortion access and the rights of LGBTQ
  • Democrats secured an extra $1 billion in funding for Head Start and other early education programs
  • Democrats also secured $1 billion for “climate resilience funding” at the Defense Department
  • Finally, Democrats secured 12,000 “special immigrant visas” for Afghans who assisted the military during our time in Afghanistan

All in all, sounds like a SOLID win for Democrats and yet another crushing defeat for the useless, do-nothing Republican Congress.

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