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House lawmakers strike deal on funding bill to avoid shutdown

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Yahoo Finance's Jessica Smith reports on a Congressional deal made between party leaders to extend government funding until February 18, 2022, dependent on the Senate to agree to it.

Video transcript

AKIKO FUJITA: Welcome back to Yahoo Finance Live. Well, Democrats and Republicans have reached a deal to extend government funding and avoid a government shutdown this weekend. So that means crisis averted for now, for now being the key word. Let's bring in Yahoo Finance's Jessica Smith, who's following the very latest for us. Jess, talk to us about the timeline for this. How quickly is the House likely to take up the vote? And what does this ultimately mean long-term? Because it feels like we're kicking the can down the road yet again.

JESSICA SMITH: Yeah, Akiko, the House is expected to vote on this bill, this short-term funding agreement at some point today. But even though there is an agreement, there is still a possibility of a shutdown this weekend. First, let's go over what this deal actually entails. It would extend government funding until February 18. That is longer than what Democrats had wanted. It also includes $7 billion for Afghan refugees. That's something that Democrats have been pushing for. Majority Leader Schumer called it an appropriate compromise that would let lawmakers finish negotiations on the long-term government funding bills.

So the House will vote on the bill first. That's expected to happen at some point today. And then it will move over to the Senate, where we could have the problem. In order to get this done before the deadline, 11:59 tomorrow night, all 100 senators have to unanimously agree to get the vote scheduled to move forward. And some Republicans are threatening to hold things up over vaccine mandates. They say they want a 51 threshold vote on vaccine mandates on barring funding for them in order to move forward with this government funding bill. And it's not clear at this point what is going to happen.

We heard from Schumer earlier today saying that he hopes Republicans change their mind. If they don't, and they do end up holding this up, that could mean a shutdown over the weekend into early next week, because of the timing. That's why they need all 100 votes to get this done faster than they usually will. And if they can't do that, then they'll have to wait until early next week. We could have this shutdown over the weekend.

But there are Republicans who are also pushing back saying, while they might not agree with vaccine mandates, shutting down the government is not the way to deal with it. Minority Leader McConnell has said that he does not think the government will shut down. He said that in an interview this morning. So we'll see what they work out. But again, they've come to a deal. They just have to see if they convince these few Republican senators to go along with it. Guys.

AKIKO FUJITA: OK, I certainly hope so, given the December 3 deadline. We're just talking one more day. Jessica Smith, appreciate you staying on top of this story for us, live out of Washington.

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