Senate passes stopgap spending bill to avoid gov’t shutdown

Senate passes stopgap spending bill to avoid gov’t shutdown

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-KY, puts on a mask after speaking to the media after the Republican’s weekly senate luncheon in the US Capitol in Washington, DC, on December 8, 2020. (Photo by KEVIN DIETSCH/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 3:45 PM PT – Friday, December 11, 2020

Congress bought some time to come to a consensus on a 2021 funding bill, but the clock is still ticking.

The Senate approved a stopgap bill to keep the government from going into shutdown at midnight.

A Friday deadline loomed over the upper chamber as divisions remained over a key part of the bill: The National Defense Authorization Act, which provides the defense department’s yearly budget.

On Thursday, a procedural vote on that budget was held up in the Senate by Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) In a blistering speech, he condemned a key provision in the bill that will limit the President’s authority to draw down troops stationed abroad.

ATKINS, IA – APRIL 25: Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) speaks to guests at a campaign event at Bloomsbury Farm on April 25, 2015 in Atkins, Iowa. Paul is seeking the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

He lambasted who he called “neo-conservatives,” like Congresswoman Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), who authorized the bill. He said they hypocritically support the President in beginning wars, but then hamstring him from ending them.

“Liz Cheney is ironically the author of this amendment to the NDAA,” Sen. Paul noted. “She said we shouldn’t limit the President’s powers in times of war and then she authors a limitation on the President removing troops from war.”

However, Paul spoke to reporters on Friday and said his intent was not to tank the bill, but rather to prove his point that the President should have the prerogative to begin and end wars. Despite his protest, he voiced his intent to vote in favor of the complete stopgap bill.

Early Friday, the Senate voted to advance a procedural vote on the NDAA. They later approved it in a final vote. The decision cleared the last hurdle for the upper chamber to approve the stopgap bill in order to avoid a shutdown.

However, that bill only keeps the government open for another week. Lawmakers hope to use that time to hammer out any final issues with a broader funding package for the 2021 fiscal year.

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