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House to vote on funding bill Friday

(NEXSTAR) — The House will vote on a $1.7 trillion government funding package Friday, one day after the Senate approved the measure and just hours before the midnight shutdown deadline.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) announced the vote on the House floor Thursday afternoon, shortly after the Senate approved the omnibus bill. He said a vote in the House was kicked to Friday because the meticulous process for preparing the bill — which spans 4,155 pages — to move from the Senate to the House would take hours.

“I have been over in the Senate talking to those who will prepare the bill to be sent to this chamber. Unfortunately, the process takes a long time to do, and it will not be to us for a significant period of time. Meaning it will not be to us before midnight tonight,” Hoyer said. 

“As a result, I will announce to members that we will have no — I believe recorded votes, until at the earliest 9 a.m. tomorrow. And members have to be available at 9 a.m. and thereafter,” he added.

The majority leader said the House will proceed “as soon as we get the documents to process.”

The House on Friday will also take up a short-term continuing resolution that would kick the funding deadline to Dec. 30. That gives the bill time to process once passed without triggering a government shutdown. The Senate approved the measure by unanimous consent Thursday afternoon.

“So again, we will be having no further votes tonight, we will convene at 9 a.m., and votes will be conducted as soon thereafter as we are ready to do so,” Hoyer said on the floor.

The Senate passed the omnibus package Thursday afternoon. The measure, which will fund the government for the remainder of fiscal 2023, includes $45 billion in military and economic aid for Ukraine.

The legislation also allocates $38 billion for emergency disaster assistance, as well as a bill to overhaul the 1887 Electoral Count Act.

The Senate added eight amendments to the bill during a marathon vote series on Thursday, one of which was a provision that would give some groups of terrorism victims — including the families of Sept. 11, 2001, victims — access to a compensation fund.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) spoke on Thursday about the process required to move a bill from the Senate to the House, noting that it will take particularly longer for the omnibus because of the length of the measure.

“When you have the bill, you sit side by side and read everything in it so that it is — what is being written in the parchment is exactly what is the bill. That takes a long time for thousands of pages. Then when that is finished and we get the signal from the Senate that they want us to send the bill, you go to the Senate floor,” Pelosi told reporters during her weekly press conference.

“And it’s a beautiful thing. You go over to the Senate, and you take section by section by section by section, House and Senate, not as long as reading every word, but confirming the sections,” she added.