House and Senate leadership struck a deal that would fund the U.S. government until Feb. 18, but there remains a risk that it can be torpedoed by Senate Republicans who oppose the bill.

On Thursday, House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., said her party would introduce a resolution that would keep the government funded until at least Feb. 18. In a statement, DeLauro called on Republicans in the House of Representatives to enter into negotiations so that they can secure a longer-term funding deal. 

“For months, Republicans have refused to negotiate on government funding and, in fact, have not even presented an offer of their own," said DeLauro.  “Instead of short-term funding patches like this, working families, small businesses, veterans and our military need the certainty that comes with passing an omnibus. Republicans must join us for bipartisan, bicameral negotiations to resolve our differences and keep government working for the people.”

The top Senate Republican on the chamber's Appropriations Committee, Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., expressed his support for the new measure after it was secured.

“I’m pleased that we have finally reached an agreement on the continuing resolution. Now we must get serious about completing [fiscal year 2022] bills," said Shelby, who is retiring when his term expires in 2022.

Current federal funding is slated to expire Dec. 3 if no agreement is reached between both houses of Congress by midnight on Friday. The current funding levels were agreed to in September, when the U.S teetered dangerously in the direction of a shutdown or default on its debt obligations.
 

DeLauro’s resolution does not introduce anything more than minimal changes to the current funding of the federal government. One alteration included was an additional $7 billion in funding for evacuees from Afghanistan. 

But Republicans in the House and Senate have made clear their objections to supporting any funding bill. They base their objections on opposition to President Joe Biden’s nationwide vaccination mandate that has been stalled from full implementation in the courts. 

On Wednesday, the House Freedom Caucus sent a letter to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., that urged him to "use all procedural tools" at his disposal to deny the bill's passage unless it guts funding for the vaccine mandate or its enforcement.

 

Neither McConnell nor his office have yet to comment on the Freedom Caucus’ letter. 

In McConnell’s own chamber, opposition to the vaccine mandate has also been an issue as of late. On Nov. 3, 10 Republican senators joined in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., where they pledged to oppose any funding that may go toward enforcement of the national vaccine mandate.