Samuel Case, FISM News
The White House is asking Congress to greenlight an over $30 billion stopgap bill to avoid a federal shutdown at the end of the month. The funds that the Biden administration is seeking would consist of $24 billion for natural disaster relief and $6.4 billion in Afghan relocation assistance. The government faces the deadline of finalizing and passing a massive spending bill, along with the bipartisan $1 trillion dollar bill, and setting a new debt ceiling which expired on July 31.
On Tuesday the White House Office of Management urged Congress to pass a short-term continuing resolution, as the fiscal year ends this month. “With the end of the fiscal year rapidly approaching, it’s clear that Congress will need to pass a short-term continuing resolution (CR) to provide more time for the FY 2022 process to unfold,” the Office of Management said in a blog post.
The Office of Management listed natural disasters and the ongoing crisis in Afghanistan as “urgent needs” that require “additional funding in a CR.” The post requested $14 billion dollars to address the natural disasters that occurred before Hurricane Ida, plus an additional $10 billion for the destruction caused by Ida “for programs such as the Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery, Federal Highway Emergency Relief, Federal Transit Emergency Relief, Small Business Administration Disaster Loans, and the FEMA Disaster Relief Fund.”
For Afghanistan the White House is asking for $6.4 billion “to support processing sites overseas and in the United States and U.S. government transportation for our allies and partners between processing sites and the United States.” The post said this funding is necessary “to enable the success” of Biden’s pullout from Afghanistan, which it described as “multifaceted” and a “historic mission.” Axios reports that Biden is planning to bring up to 95,000 “vulnerable Afghans” to the United States, not including refugees.
Meanwhile Congress is currently working to propose details of the $3.5 trillion budget bill that looks to fund a laundry list of Democratic agenda items. The House of Representatives passed a framework of the social spending bill last month along party lines, the details are now being finalized by committees. The bill is expected to address several of the Biden Administration’s top priorities, including liberal immigration reform, climate change and the expansion of social programs; and will likely receive zero Republican support.
Recently Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) announced in a Wall Street Journal article that he won’t support a bill of such size and called on his fellow Democrats to pause the bill. Last month, Manchin said he was worried about the “grave consequences” of adding to the nation’s debt and the country’s ability to respond to other potential crises. Manchin’s stance against the bill has created turmoil for Democrats, who will need all 50 Democratic senators to vote for the bill for it to pass through budget reconciliation.