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House to vote on package to avert partial government shutdown as deadline looms

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(WASHINGTON) — The House will vote on the $1.2 trillion government funding package Friday morning — the first in a series of steps to avert a government shutdown that still can’t be ruled out.

The House will vote between 11 a.m. and 11:30 a.m., Majority Leader Steve Scalise announced. If it passes the House, it will go on to the Senate — but members of the upper chamber are up against the clock to review the House-passed package and vote on it before a deadline at midnight on Friday.

It’s not clear when a Senate vote would happen, though Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has asked senator to remain flexible and ready to act. Any delay on the vote could mean that some agencies could feel a shutdown — albeit short.

The $1.2 trillion package — considered a major bipartisan effort in the highly divided House — provides funding for six bills including Defense, Financial Services, Homeland Security, Labor and Health and Human Services and Education, Legislative Branch and State and Foreign Operations.

If the package passes, the government will be funded through the end of the fiscal year, Sept. 30 — putting an end to the continuing resolution cycle that has led to Congress nearly shutting the government down, at least partially, five times since October.

The government funding package will be introduced under suspension of the rules, which requires a two-thirds majority vote for passage. This means, yet again, that House Speaker Mike Johnson will rely on Democrats to get this bill across the finish line.

House Republican leadership sources tell ABC News they have been working to shore up votes since the bill text dropped early Thursday morning. It is a toss-up if they have enough votes to meet the two-thirds threshold.

There is strong opposition from the far-right in the House, including members of the House Freedom Caucus.

In a news conference lambasting the government funding package Friday morning, the House Freedom Caucus members expressed frustration that not enough is being done to secure the southern border and end the release of migrants into the United States — a hang-up that was part of the Department of Homeland Security funding negotiations.

“No border, no budget,” said Rep. Tim Burchett, R-Tenn., who isn’t a House Freedom Caucus member, but said he joined in to express his displeasure with funding package.

House Freedom Caucus Chair Bob Good, R-Va., said “we don’t need 72 hours to vote against a bad bill,” alluding to a House has a rule requiring 72 hours for members to review legislation before voting.

Many spoke directly to Johnson about their frustrations.

“Mr. Speaker, do the right thing,” said Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz. “Pull this bill.”

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