Mon. Apr 22nd, 2024

Congress strikes deal to avert a partial government shutdown — for now

By 37ci3 Feb29,2024

WASHINGTON – Bilateral negotiators announced Wednesday that they had reached an agreement to avoid a partial government shutdown this week, securing agreement on half of the dozen spending bills that must pass and extending a pair of fast-approaching funding deadlines until March to buy more time for Congress.

House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La. and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said in a joint statement with members charged with crafting the spending legislation that they reached agreement on six bills that fund several federal agencies. , including the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Energy, Interior, Justice, Transportation, and Veterans Affairs. And they agreed to vote this weekend on a short-term bill to avert a partial government shutdown, buying them more time to pass a funding deal.

“We agree that Congress must work in a bipartisan way to fund our government,” the leaders said.

“After finalizing the text, six full-year Appropriations packages will be voted on and enacted before March 8,” Johnson, Schumer and appropriators said. “The remaining six Appropriations bills — Defense, Financial Services and General Government, Homeland Security, Labor-HHS, Legislative Department, and State and Foreign Operations — will be finalized, voted on, and enacted before March 22.”

The House returned to session on Tuesday after a two-week recess, and Johnson promised to give members 72 hours before voting. financing agreementWithout a stopgap bill until midnight on Friday, leaving enough time to avoid a partial shutdown.

“To give the House and Senate Appropriations Committees adequate time to implement this agreement in principle, including drafting, report language, scoring, and other technical matters, and to give members 72 hours to review the short-term continuing resolution to funding agencies. It will take March 8 and 22 and will be voted on in the House and Senate this week,” party leaders said in a joint statement. The original deadlines were March 1st and 8th.

Still, the House and Senate need to pass a recess measure by the end of Friday to avoid a partial shutdown. Fast-track votes in the Senate would require the approval of all 100 members, meaning they are not yet guaranteed to pass on time.

Johnson said the House will vote on the short-term bill on Thursday.

Earlier, on the Senate floor, Schumer said he needed to resist the demands of the “extreme hard right that wants to burn everything down” to prevent a shutdown.

President Joe Biden It hosted four top Congress leaders Tuesday at the White House to try to strike separate deals on government funding and aid to Ukraine and other foreign allies.

Without the two shutdown measures, part of the federal government would shut down early Saturday, and the rest would shut down a week later. Johnson had proposed moving the two deadlines to March 8 and 22, two sources familiar with the negotiations said.

“Any CR would be part of a larger deal to finish the appropriations bill, providing adequate time for text to be drafted and members to review before a vote,” Johnson spokeswoman Athina Lawson said.

There is broad agreement among congressional leaders that a shutdown would be counterproductive.

“We’re proud that they’re our Band-Aid budget that gets us through week to week and month to month. We’re so proud to keep the lights on in Washington,” Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, D-Ill., joked. “We need to immediately deal with issues that are meaningful to Americans,” like resolving and protecting the border crisis in vitro fertilizationhe added.

With House Republicans demanding more, Schumer and Biden are working on a 2022 budget they passed with then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi when Congress still controls the White House and both houses of Congress. Lawmakers have punted new funding bills three times this Congress and now face a fourth.

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By 37ci3

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