Manchin’s utility bill needs the support of 60 senators to hitch a ride to the passage on the continuation of the resolutionwhich the government would fund until December 16. If it doesn’t remove that hurdle later Tuesday, the Senate majority leader will… Chuck Schumer could look for a time deal to make progress on a stand-alone spending emergency measure.
House speaker Nancy Pelosic has also said that the lower chamber could quickly move first if necessary and pass a stopgap without Manchin’s plan.
But Manchin isn’t admitting anything yet. He pleaded for GOP support on CNN Tuesday morning, pointing to the Republican Party’s past support for accelerating energy projects. In an effort to increase the urgency surrounding the vote, he said: “I see no way forward” to pass reforms if it doesn’t work out this week.
“If 47 of my Republican friends signed a bill very similar to this,” Manchin said, “you’d think maybe 15 or 20 out of 47 would look at this and say it’s a moment in time. [to vote yes].”
Senate leaders unveiled the text of the government spending patch, including Manchin’s proposal, minutes before midnight on Monday. The bill would provide Ukraine with more than $12 billion in emergency money; it is also spending $35 million to respond to “potential nuclear and radiological incidents in Ukraine,” according to a summary.
The temporary funding patch includes $1 billion in heating for low-income families, $20 million to address the water crisis in Jackson, Miss., more than $112 million for federal court security and billions of dollars in other disaster relief.
The measure also allows FEMA to spend at a higher rate to respond to short-term natural disasters, including the catastrophic flooding and power outages caused by Hurricane Fiona in Puerto Rico. It includes additional funding and flexibility for the resettlement of Afghan refugees and a five-year re-authorization of the FDA’s user reimbursement programs.
It does not include additional funding to address emerging needs for coronavirus or monkey pox, despite the Biden administration’s request for billions of dollars in such emergency funding.
The emergency measure buys time for negotiations on a broader government funding deal that would increase federal agencies’ budgets in the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1 — a priority for Shelby and Senate Appropriations Chair Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), who are both retiring at the end of the year.
In a statement, House Appropriations Chair Rose DeLauro (D-Conn.) said she is “extremely disappointed that controversial license reform has been included and is not being considered separately.”
“Despite these shortcomings, the ongoing resolution still provides resources essential to our communities and national security,” DeLauro said. “And with just four days to the end of the fiscal year, it keeps the government open.”
Leahy also said Manchin’s licensing legislation is “a controversial issue that should be discussed on its own merits”.
“However, with four days to go in the fiscal year, we can’t risk the government shutting down; we must work to move this bill forward,” he said.
Nancy Vu contributed to this report.