Senate Passes Short-Term CR to Fund Government, While Chip Roy Blasts Failure of Vaccine Mandate Amendments

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Posted: Feb 17, 2022 7:45 PM
Senate Passes Short-Term CR to Fund Government, While Chip Roy Blasts Failure of Vaccine Mandate Amendments

Source: AP Photo/Mark Tenally

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. 

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. 

From Carney: 

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.

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.