Congressional leaders strike deal to avert shutdown this week

Congressional leaders struck a deal this week to avert a government shutdown and agreed to push back two funding deadlines to late March to buy time for spending talks.

under The agreement was announced Wednesday.leaders agreed to extend funding through March 8 for six complete bills covering the departments of Agriculture, Justice, Commerce, Energy, Interior, Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development.

The agreement also extends funding for the remaining six annual funding bills, which cover the Department of Labor, Health and Human Services, Department of Defense and other departments, through March 22.

Both chambers must vote on the proposal, making it the fourth stopgap spending measure passed for fiscal year 2024.

“We agree that Congress must work in a bipartisan manner to fund the government,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (N.Y.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. House Minority Leader Mike Johnson (R-Ky.) and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (R-N.Y.) said in a joint statement Wednesday, along with the appropriations committee chairs of both chambers.

“Give the House and Senate Appropriations Committees sufficient time to implement this transaction in principle, including drafting, preparing report language, scoring, and other technical matters, and provide each agency with funding.” “Give committee members 72 hours to consider a short-term continuing resolution that would provide for the next 22 days, ending March 8, and will be voted on in the House and Senate this week.” ”

Under the current stopgap spending bill, funding for four of the 12 full-year spending bills expires on Friday, while funding for the remaining eight bills expires on March 8.

This latest agreement comes after weeks of tense bipartisan negotiations and as spending cardinals in both chambers have indicated they may need more time to complete their funding work. It was conducted.

“I think we could have maybe been ready for next week and gotten it done. But right now, it’s taking a long time to get the bill through both chambers,” he said, adding that funding for the Departments of Labor and Health and Human Services. Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), who chairs the subcommittee that does this, told The Hill on Wednesday.

Baldwin’s bill is one of eight bills currently scheduled to expire on March 8th. Often a battleground for battles over abortion-related policy, Baldwin’s bill is considered one of the tougher bills to craft.

Asked earlier Wednesday about the outlook for interim measures by March 22, he said: “I think there is enough time to draw conclusions, but most of the remaining issues are at the stage of being resolved.” I think so.”

The new deal has also sparked a fight in the House of Commons, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson facing a tough challenge in getting through a new short-term stopgap, especially as Conservatives have called for a year-round stopgap.

Experts have warned that the latter proposal could lead to deep cuts in government funding, and members on both sides of the aisle have rejected it due to concerns about how it would affect defense and non-defense programs. are doing. But conservatives continue to fight the proposal, seeking lower overall funding levels.

Updated at 5:23 p.m..

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