Emergency Measure Introduced to Save America From the Debt Ceiling

After failing to reach an agreement on a bigger spending plan before the February deadline, the House of Representatives voted a provisional funding bill on Tuesday to avoid a government shutdown.

The Majority of Lawmakers Voted for the Bill

The bill on the short-term financing measure was published Monday by the United States House Appropriations Chairwoman Rosa DeLauro. It passed by a vote of 272–162.

As per NPR, the legislation now travels to the Senate, wherein Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) suggested the body will act quickly on the bill before sending it to President Biden for a signature.

The short-term bill would avert a government shutdown on Feb. 18, when the government budget expires, by extending financing for nearly three weeks until March 11.

This offers Republicans and Democrats more time to work out a substantial budget deal that will keep the government financed at least until September. Before the Feb. 18 deadline, legislators failed to reach a long-term agreement.

“This CR is the result of bipartisan, bicameral negotiations to keep the government functioning, while Congress completes essential work for the American people,” DeLauro said.

“We’re really close to reaching an agreement. I’m excited to get this process moving.”

Urgent Funding for Water Infrastructure

The “Further Additional Stretching Government Funding Act” keeps funding at present levels until March 11. It also adds $350 million to repair contamination of water at Hawaii’s Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Unit.

After 14,000 gallons of fresh water and gasoline combination spilled from the Fuel Storage Unit in November, the Hawaii State Health Department instructed the Navy to cease operations. They were also ordered to dump the subterranean tanks at the site earlier this month.

Officials previously stated the water supply was safe and the situation had been resolved. Nevertheless, the Navy later noted it was examining claims of a chemical smell in the groundwater from adjacent households.

The Navy said in December that activities at Red Hill will be temporarily halted, pending the results of the case.

The latest measure guarantees the government can operate normally without closure.

Still, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-N.Y.) warned on Tuesday “we cannot just enable the government to function under last year’s spending levels for the balance of the 2022 fiscal year.”

Hoyer already expressed dissatisfaction with Congress’ inability to reach an agreement on spending bills to support the government; this is one of the most basic of legislative obligations.

“We should have approved all 12 appropriations bills to support the government for the financial year that we’re in right now—fiscal year ’22—by September 30,” he stated on MSNBC.

“No, we didn’t. As a result, we had no choice but to CR and we’re currently working on another one because we didn’t finish our assignment on time.”

Hoyer, on the other hand, expressed optimism that a deal might be struck shortly.