Senate advances $460 billion spending package to final vote to avert partial government shutdown

“If we do not act, at midnight tonight, we will have a partial government shutdown,” Sen. Susan Collins said.
Capitol Hill

The Senate on Friday voted to advance the $460 billion spending package to a final vote to avert a partial government shutdown. 

The vote was 63-35 to set up the package of six spending bills for final passage, which is expected either later Friday or Saturday, The Hill reported

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., voted to pass the package, while Senate Minority Whip John Thune, R-S.D., and Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, who are looking to replace McConnell as GOP leader, voted against it. 

One Democratic senator also voted against the spending package while 14 Republicans voted for it. 

The package had passed the House 339-85 earlier this week and follows the spending caps deal that was reached last year between President Biden, then-Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. 

The Democratic Senate leader and Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., reaffirmed the spending deal that sets a spending top line of $1.65 trillion, including $69 billion in adjustments as part of a “side deal” that raised the federal debt limit last year. 

The Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Energy, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, Justice, Transportation, and Veterans Affairs, as well as military construction and water development, would all be funded by the spending package. 

Senate conservatives led by GOP Sens. Rick Scott, Fla.; Mike Lee, Utah; and Rand Paul, R-Ky., have opposed the bill, particularly the more than 6,000 earmarks that add up to more than $12 billion in spending. 

Those earmarks received scrutiny from House Republicans as well, who flocked to social media to highlight what they thought were particularly egregious provisions.

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, the vice chair of the Appropriations committee, said on Friday, “If we do not act, at midnight tonight, we will have a partial government shutdown.” 

“I would urge my colleagues to stop playing with fire,” she added. 

After this spending package is passed, Congress will have to pass six more appropriations bills to fund the Departments of Defense, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, and Labor by March 22.