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A deal agreed on Thursday saw Congress avoid ushering in a federal gov't shutdown from 23:59:59 tonight. Following intensive talks, Senate Democratic leadership relented in providing a vote on an amendment that would defund President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate for large private sector employers.

  • Unlike a September vote on a similar amendemnt that required 60 senators to vote in favour, this one only required a simple majority. However, with two GOP senators absent, the amendment was defeated on a party-line vote 50-48. The continuing resolution to ensure federal funding passed 69-28, ensuring no gov't shutdown until at least 18 February.
  • This bipartisan effort between Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and minority leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has spurred hopes that the two can foster an agreement on suspending the US debt ceiling before the 15 Dec deadline that could see the federal gov't default on its debts. The Hill reports that when asked if the deal on federal funding was a good sign for debt ceiling talks Senator Shelley Moore-Capito (R-WV) replied “I think so", before talking up McConnell's desire to avoid a US credit default.

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