Lawmakers reach deal on spending bill, but hurdles remain

Biden-Bank Regulation Battle
Posted at 12:24 PM, Dec 02, 2021

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congressional leaders reached an agreement on a spending bill that would keep the government running through mid-February.

But a temporary federal shutdown is still possible this weekend because some Republican senators object to the Biden administration's COVID-19 vaccine mandates.

The House is expected to take up the legislation later Thursday.

The Senate also would have to act before a midnight Friday deadline to avoid a weekend shutdown.

The agreement would keep spending at current levels to Feb. 18, including $7 billion to aid Afghanistan evacuees.

The White House is urging quick passage.

"We still feel that there's time for lawmakers to set aside reckless and irresponsible political games and enact the short-term continuing resolution that would fund the government through early next year and allow for time for a full year," White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters Thursday during a press briefing.

But conservative Republicans opposed to President Joe Biden's vaccine rules want Congress to take a hard stand even if that means a brief shutdown.

On Thursday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that's a no-go.

"We all have a responsibility to make sure that the government functions," Pelosi said. "I don't think that the Republicans and the Senate want to shut down the government. Uh, I don't know that they would even have the votes to do so. Uh, but it is yet again a double, a double sense of irresponsibility. First of all, they'd shut down the government, and then they'd shut down science."