Democrats To Lard Up Must-Pass Funding Bill With Partisan Provisions

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Michael Ginsberg Congressional Correspondent
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Top Democrats are preparing to attach several partisan provisions to a continuing resolution that Congress must pass by Sept. 30.

Federal government funding runs out at the end of September, and Congress will likely pass a bill keeping the lights on into December. The legislature passed three continuing resolutions in late 2021 and early 2022 as lawmakers argued over federal funding, with Congress ultimately passing a full-year budget in March. The $1.5 trillion FY2022 budget included nearly $14 billion in military and economic aid for Ukraine, as well as re-authorization of the Violence Against Women Act and increased funding for community policing projects.

Congressional leaders often attach polarizing provisions to must-pass bills like government funding packages since doing so is often the only way to pass those provisions. The forthcoming continuing resolution will not be an exception to that trend.

Office of Management and Budget Director Shalanda Young announced on Friday that the White House would seek $11.7 billion in new Ukraine aid, $22.4 billion in new funding for COVID-19 vaccines and therapies, and $4.5 billion for monkeypox vaccines and treatment domestically and worldwide, according to a White House funding request summary. (RELATED: The Biden Admin Wants To Spend Billions To Stop Monkeypox)

“This Administration will continue to work with members of both parties in Congress to meet these critical needs for the American people, and we look forward to reaching a bipartisan funding agreement that advances national priorities in the coming fiscal year,” Young said in a statement.

Other Democratic priorities are likely to be included in the continuing resolution. Top senators are considering adding a provision affirming the legality of gay marriage, which passed the House of Representatives in July with significant Republican support. Although several Republicans have expressed support for the bill, it is unclear whether or not enough will vote to break a filibuster.

“My impression is that the majority leader is eager to put this bill on the floor in September, and I hope that he will,” Republican Maine Sen. Susan Collins told Politico.

Democratic West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin’s proposal to speed up the federal process for approving mines, oil wells, and gas pipelines could also be part of the resolution, Punchbowl News reported. In exchange for supporting the Inflation Reduction Act, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer promised Manchin that the Senate would pass an amendment to the Clean Water Act, a statute of limitations for lawsuits, and a time limit for federal environmental reviews by Sept. 30.

The agreement is unpopular with left-wing Democrats in the House, who have suggested that they will block any legislative proposals addressing it. Manchin has suggested that he would side with Republicans and shut down the federal government if the permitting reform does not pass, according to West Virginia Metro News.

“It either keeps the country open, or we shut down the government. That’ll happen Sept. 30, so let’s see how that politics plays out,” he said on Aug. 21.