Averting a government shutdown with hours to spare, Congress gave approval to a short-term funding package Friday that will continue federal operations until Dec. 16.
The stop-gap measure passed the U.S. House of Representatives 230-201; the Senate advanced the bill in a 72-25 vote Thursday.
Alabama’s congressional delegation voted 7-2 against the legislation.
U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Tuscaloosa), vice chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, and U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell (D-Birmingham) were the only members of Alabama’s federal representation who voted for the bill’s passage.
Along with funding that will temporarily keep the federal government in operation, $12.4 billion was included in the bill for emergency aid to Ukraine.
Congressional Democrats’ efforts to pass the last-minute funding package “is a reckless approach to governing,” according to U.S. Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Auburn).
“A continuing resolution is meant to maintain government funding at its current level until Congress passes appropriation bills. But, in what has become standard practice this Congress, Democrats were set on using this legislation to spend as much unrelated money as possible, as quickly as possible,” said Tuberville. “This is a reckless approach to governing. Hastily spending billions of new dollars by attaching them to a continuing resolution is an irresponsible use of taxpayer funds.”
U.S. Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-Haleyville), a member of the House Appropriations Committee, said the bill failed to address significant issues facing the nation.
“I voted no on this bill, not because I wanted the government to shut down, but because we could have done so much better,” said Aderholt. “At a time of record-high inflation, record-high illegal border crossings, and record-high spending, this continuing resolution is a missed opportunity to work together on some of the biggest issues we face.
“In fact, this bill bails out the Biden Administration by providing nearly $2 billion for unaccompanied minors flooding the border and $1 billion to pay for increased home heating and cooling costs, neither of which address the root causes of these problems.”
U.S. Rep. Gary Palmer (R-Hoover), chairman of the House Republican Policy Committee, took exception to Congress’ failure to adhere to the traditional process of approving appropriations bills to fund the federal government.
“The Continuing Resolution (CR) passed today will create long-term issues for the American people,” said Palmer. “Instead of proposing CRs to kick the can down the road, Congress should do its constitutional duty and pass annual appropriations bills to fund our government. We have had plenty of time to pass a funding bill and instead of rushing home to campaign, we should stay here and do our jobs.
“60 percent of Americans are now living paycheck-to-paycheck, our economy is in a recession, and 20 million customers are behind on their utility bills even before the winter months settle in. Instead of playing politics with spending bills, our country deserves a Congress that works for the good of Americans struggling to make ends meet for themselves and their families.”
American taxpayers “should be furious” over Democrats’ approach in passing the short-term funding package, said U.S. Rep. Barry Moore (R-Enterprise).
“It is unthinkable that Democrats would postpone their duty to pass a long-term spending bill until after the elections when they can pack in radical, unpopular left-wing spending without suffering electoral consequences,” said Moore. “Every American taxpayer should be furious over the inability – or unwillingness – of Congress to do its most fundamental duty and responsibly and punctually fund our government, and Republicans must make clear our commitment to restoring accountability to how taxpayer dollars are spent.”
Dylan Smith is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @DylanSmithAL