Congressional Leadership Agrees to Push Shutdown Worries Down the Road

Congressional Leadership Agrees to Push Shutdown Worries Down the Road

The top Democratic and Republican leaders in the Senate and House agreed today to pass another Continuing Resolution this week to avoid a partial government shutdown. Funding for departments and agencies in four of the 12 appropriations bills otherwise would run out on Friday, March 1, and March 8 for the others. Now those in six of the bills will be funded until March 8 and the rest until March 22.  The FAA, NASA and NOAA are in the first bundle, while DOD is in the second.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA), and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) met with President Biden and Vice President Harris at the White House yesterday and all agreed that a government shutdown should be avoided.

Today Schumer, McConnell, Johnson, Jeffries and the Chairs and Ranking Members of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees — Sen. Patty Murry (D-WA), Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), Rep. Kay Granger (R-TX), and Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) — issued a joint statement laying out the new plan reflecting the fact that agreement on some of the bills is further along than others.

Under the agreement, a new Continuing Resolution (CR) will be passed before Friday at midnight extending the existing March 1 and March 8 deadlines to March 8 and March 22. This will be the fourth FY2024 CR.

The new plan is:

  • March 8:  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)
  • March 22: DOD, Financial Services-General Government, Homeland Security, Labor-HHS, Legislative Branch, and State-Foreign Ops.

House and Senate Democrats and Senate Republicans have been in agreement for some time on the need to pass the FY2024 appropriations bills in a timely manner, but House Republicans have been insisting not only on deeper cuts to federal spending, but adding anti-abortion, anti-LGBTQ, and anti-diversity social policy provisions (“riders”).

On January 7, Schumer, McConnell, Johnson and Jeffries agreed on the spending levels. Appropriators have been working out the details ever since, but the social policy riders continue to be an obstacle.

In one sense, they are just kicking the can down the road again, but at least it avoids an imminent shutdown.


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