Congress Clears New CR, Punting Shutdown Threat Further Into March

Congress Clears New CR, Punting Shutdown Threat Further Into March

The House and Senate passed a new Continuing Resolution today extending the deadlines for passing the 12 FY2024 appropriations bills further into March. Without the new CR, funding for departments and agencies in four of the bills would have run out tomorrow night and the rest a week later. This new legislation buys a bit more time. Now six of the bills will expire on March 8 and the others on March 22. The House also passed an extension of the FAA’s authorization, including extending the “learning period” prohibition on new commercial human spaceflight regulations until May.

Agreement among the top House and Senate Democrats and Republicans on avoiding a partial government shutdown tomorrow night was announced yesterday. Both chambers made quick work of passing the new CR, H.R. 7463, today and then left town for the weekend. This is the fourth CR for FY2024, which began on October 1, 2023. Departments and agencies are held at their prior year funding levels under a CR and new programs cannot begin or old ones terminated.

The House took up the bill under suspension of the rules, which avoids the Rules Committee but requires a two-thirds vote to pass. It passed 320-99, with 113 Republicans and 207 Democrats in favor, and 97 Republicans and 2 Democrats opposed.


The Senate took up the bill shortly thereafter. Sixty votes were needed for passage. It passed 77-13.

President Biden issued a statement praising the bill’s passage, but stressed it is only a short-term fix and once again urged the House to pass the national security supplemental with aid to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan. It already has passed the Senate.

Funding now will expire March 8 for departments and agencies funded in these six bills:

  • Agriculture
  • Commerce-Justice-Science (including NASA and NOAA)
  • Energy-Water
  • Interior
  • Military Construction-VA, and
  • Transportation-HUD (including the FAA and its Office of Commercial Space Transportation)

House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) indicated agreement is close at hand on those six and reportedly plans to bring them to the House floor for a vote on Wednesday.

Funding now will expire March 22 for departments and agencies funded in these six bills:

  • Defense
  • Financial Services-General Government (including the FCC)
  • Homeland Security
  • Labor-HHS
  • Legislative Branch, and
  • State-Foreign Ops

Whether agreement is close on these bills remains murky.

Separately, the House also passed an extension for the FAA authorization. The FAA must be reauthorized every 5 years. That authorization would have expired on September 30, 2023, but, like the funding bills, Congress is passing temporary extensions. This one, H.R. 7454, would reauthorize the FAA until May 10, 2024, and extend the prohibition on the FAA promulating new commercial human spaceflight regulations — the “learning period” — until May 11, 2024. The current deadlines are March 8 and March 9 respectively. Today’s vote was 401-19.


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