But both parties agreed to provide $7 billion for Afghan evacuees, who fled the country after American troops withdrew from Afghanistan and the Taliban regained control. The additional funding includes about $4.3 billion for the Defense Department to care for evacuees on military bases, $1.3 billion for the State Department and $1.3 billion for the Administration for Children and Families to provide resettlement and other services, including emergency housing and English language classes.
Senator Richard C. Shelby of Alabama, the top Republican on the Appropriations Committee, said in a statement that he was “pleased that we have finally reached an agreement.” But he warned that if Democrats continued to push for policies Republicans oppose — including elimination of the Hyde amendment, which blocks federal funding for abortions — and lower levels of defense funding, “we’ll be having the same conversation in February.”
It remained unclear, however, whether other members of Mr. Shelby’s party would allow the bill to advance in time to avoid a shutdown. A few Republicans, led by Senators Mike Lee of Utah and Roger Marshall of Kansas, have said they will oppose moving forward with it unless a measure is added barring funding to put in place the administration’s mandate for large businesses to require vaccinations or regular testing to stem the spread of the coronavirus.
Scrambling to pacify the holdouts, party leaders were discussing allowing a vote on an amendment that would cut off funding for the vaccine mandate. But Mr. Marshall told reporters on Capitol Hill that he would accept the proposal only if it could be subject to a simple majority vote, rather than the 60 needed to advance most major legislation in the Senate.
The Coronavirus Pandemic: Key Things to Know
Biden’s winter Covid plan. As Omicron reaches the U.S., President Biden is set to announce a strategy that includes insurance reimbursement for at-home tests. His plan will also require international travelers to show proof of a negative test taken 24 hours before departing for the U.S.
Shifting views on boosters among experts. For months, many public health experts have opposed plans to roll out Covid booster shots to all adults. But as Omicron gains ground, researchers are changing their minds, and now believe that the shots may offer the best defense against the new variant.
Given the 50-50 partisan split, that would mean it would take only one Democrat joining Republicans in support of the proposal to pass it, and Senator Joe Manchin III, Democrat of West Virginia, suggested he had not ruled out doing so.
“I’ve been very supportive of a mandate for federal government, for military, for all the people that work on government payroll — I’ve been less enthused about it in the private sector,” Mr. Manchin told reporters Thursday morning. “We’re working through all that.”
Mr. Manchin voted against a similar amendment in September.
Several senior Republicans who have objected to the mandates have warned that the dispute is not worth a government shutdown, particularly as the nation confronts a new coronavirus variant.