On Thursday night the U.S. Senate managed to avert a government shutdown before the Friday night deadline when it voted 65-27 in favor of a short-term continuing resolution (CR) that will fund the government until March 11. Lawmakers must work on a further deal to fund the government long-term through September.
As Spencer covered earlier on Thursday, it wasn't entirely certain if the CR would pass, given the complexities of missing members from both parties and the amount of amendments to be considered.
In reporting on the passage of the bill for The Hill, Jordain Carney explained what amendments made it in:
Senators spent days haggling over what amendments would get votes. In the end they agreed on three: Two related to Biden’s vaccine mandates and a third from Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.) on balancing the budget.
Another amendment from Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) that would block federal funding for schools and childcare centers that require coronavirus vaccination failed, along with one from Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and other GOP senators to defund vaccine requirements for medical workers, military personnel, federal employees and contractors for the length of the CR.
Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) who vocally opposes vaccine mandates, especially in Washington, D.C., had called on fellow Republicans to take a stand and refuse to fund the government if proper action was not taken on these mandates.
As the vote was going on, and shortly after the CR passed, Roy fired off a series of tweets blasting his fellow Republicans, but also expressing appreciation for those who voted in favor of amendments addressing vaccine mandates.
The 17 R’s who voted to move the bill forward without having locked in amendment votes should have to answer why as well. We have until March 11th to see if Republicans will stand up for the people and earn votes in November. It’s not enough to be “less bad” than Democrats. https://t.co/iMELQIyDWD— Chip Roy (@chiproytx) February 17, 2022
Know this - the goal of @LeaderMcConnell & Senate GOP leadership was to get the funding bill across the line REGARDLESS of the outcome of the vax mandate vote… & thus it was Kabuki. For them, it’s process over freedom. #DefundVaxMandates— Chip Roy (@chiproytx) February 17, 2022
Roy had reason to be frustrated with his fellow Republicans, considering that as Carney also noted in his report, if the Senate voted earlier, the amendments addressing vaccines could have made it into the bill.
Missing R’s keeping vax mandates alive? Romney (UT), Inhofe (OK), Burr (NC), & Graham (SC). No excuses - they should all be shamed. Now - EVERY @SenateGOP should be held accountable for voting to fund this government. Watch, count the votes, then act. #DefundVaxMandates https://t.co/Wir53zOCmH— Chip Roy (@chiproytx) February 17, 2022
Any Republican who chooses “jet fumes” (i.e. fundraisers, vacations, fancy trips, or even just going home to their families) over standing up for the American people should be shown the door. Stand Up. Now. #DefundVaxMandates #TakeBackAmerica https://t.co/n4CfRPwWBI— Chip Roy (@chiproytx) February 17, 2022
NO REPUBLICAN SENATOR should leave town this afternoon.— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) February 17, 2022
Schumer is panicking right now because Dems WILL LOSE THE VOTE on my amendment & @SenMikeLee amendment to BLOCK BIDEN’s VACCINE MANDATES & BLOCK MANDATES ON KIDS.
The only way Dems win the vote is if Rs skip town.
The chamber started the day with two GOP senators absent, Sen. Richard Burr (N.C.) and Lindsey Graham (S.C.), along with three Democratic senators: Sens. Ben Ray Lujan (Calif.), Dianne Feinstein (Calif.) and Mark Kelly (Ariz.).
That meant if the Senate had voted on the amendments on Thursday, or even Wednesday when Graham was the only GOP senator missing, the vaccine proposals would have had enough support to get added into the government funding bill.
The vaccine amendments were narrowly defeated, as Fox News' Chad Pergram tweeted.
Senate defeats debate on Cruz amdt to bar money for schools which enforce vaccine mandates. The vote was 49-44— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) February 17, 2022
Senate defeats Lee amendment to cut off funding for vaccine mandates. The Senate defeated the amendment 47-46.— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) February 17, 2022
The bill is headed to President Joe Biden, who is expected to sign it. The U.S. House of Representatives, which is currently on recess, had passed the bill last week.