Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., filed cloture on the latest House-passed continuing resolution (CR) – which would extend Federal government funding through March 11 – setting up a timeline for a Senate vote on the funding bill by Friday.

The CR passed the House Feb. 9, and shortly afterward the House and Senate Appropriations Committees announced that a bipartisan, bicameral agreement on the framework for full fiscal year (FY) 2022 government funding had been reached.

However, a vote on the CR bill has been blocked on the Senate side since Feb. 9 by Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., who had placed a block pending assurances from the Department of Health and Human Services over the specifics of a harm reduction program.

With that block lifted, Sen. Schumer filed cloture on the bill Feb. 15, setting up a cloture vote for Thursday. The cloture vote would end debate on the measure, thus clearing the way for a Senate vote on the CR funding bill by Friday.

Under the existing CR measure approved by Congress late last year, government funding is set to run out after Feb. 18. But there is little evident appetite in Congress to force a government shutdown due to lack of funding, and the House and Senate Appropriations committees are working on the full-year FY 2022 funding bill with a March 11 deadline in mind.

Once the CR passes the Senate, it will need President Biden’s signature to become law.

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Lamar Johnson
Lamar Johnson
Lamar Johnson is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.