Rhode Island’s House Finance Committee passed a supplemental budget Tuesday that closes a roughly $240 million deficit mostly by leaning on federal COVID-19 aid and state rainy day funds.

Bolstered by an increase of more than $1 billion in federal funds – largely for unemployment benefits – the spending plan reaches almost $12 billion.

The Finance Committee passed the budget on a party-line vote, 13 to 3, with Republicans in opposition after about 90 minutes of discussion.

House GOP Leader Blake Filippi of New Shoreham joined his colleagues in saying they lacked adequate time to vet the spending plan, after getting details of it less than 24 hours earlier. As Filippi noted, the current fiscal year continues through June 30.

“We have time to sit back and analyze this and get it right and allow the members to contribute,” he said. “The only thing I have the ability to do right now is to try to figure out what’s in this thing. I can’t analyze as to whether what’s in this thing is right or not. I can only right now try to figure out what is in here, and I don’t think it’s appropriate.”

Finance Chairman Marvin Abney (D-Newport) responded by saying that he didn’t like the pace, either, but that that’s how things get done in the House.

And when Republicans questioned the reliance on a large amount of federal money, House Fiscal Adviser Sharon Reynolds Ferland said there were few other options.

“You couldn’t go back and un-hire people from six months ago or you know, un-pay your electric bill,” she said. “You had kind of very limited options and those are uses of federal funds that became available, to free up general revenues to cover other things, like lost revenues. And so those discussions came up about from the reading of the federal legislation, from discussions in committee.”

The full House is expected to vote on the budget Thursday.

Meanwhile, the spending plan for the fiscal year starting July 1 is expected to be taken up next month, after clarity emerges on whether more federal aid will materialize to help deal with a deficit likely topping $600 million.