NAICU Washington Update

Parties Maneuver to Avoid Government Shutdown

February 18, 2022

Last night the Senate passed the continuing resolution (CR), which the House passed last week, keeping the government open until March 11. While Senate consideration took longer than expected, passage ensures the government will remain open for several more weeks. 

The delay in the Senate was caused by political leaders on both sides of the aisle seeking to make sure their amendments were addressed and their priorities were included for the final FY 2022 spending bills that are in the works. 

With Sen. Ben Ray Luján (D-NM) out on medical leave, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) needed to secure Republican support in order for the CR to pass. Meanwhile, knowing their votes were needed, Republicans requested votes on amendments to prohibit the use of federal funds to enforce vaccine mandates and to reinstate a constitutional amendment for a balanced federal budget. Neither of these passed, and the final vote for the CR was 65-27.

Meanwhile, appropriators continue to work behind closed doors on the FY 2022 omnibus package, which they plan to have ready for passage by March 11. No details on spending levels have been released, but leaders have indicated that a top-line spending level has been agreed to, that defense and domestic programs will have “parity” in their increases, and that additional emergency COVID relief funding will most likely not be part of the omnibus deal. 

It is very important that Congress finalize FY 2022 appropriations soon, so that colleges can make student aid award notifications for fall 2022 with confidence. 

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