Congress Strikes Deal to Avert Partial Government Shutdown

The Capitol is seen at day's end as the Senate works on a House-passed bill that would pay
AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Congressional leaders struck a deal on Wednesday that would hope to avert a partial government shutdown.

Top lawmakers closed negotiations on the Agriculture, Energy, Military Construction and Veterans Affairs; Transportation-Housing and Urban Development, and Interior; and Commerce-Justice-Science appropriations bills, setting a deadline for March 8 to pass the spending bills. Leadership hopes to release the text of the bills by this weekend and pass the bills next week. The spending bills would fund related government agencies through September, right before the 2024 elections.

The remaining appropriations bills that would fund the Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security (DHS); Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services (HHS), and Education, which are more controversial, will have a deadline of March 22

Politico reported:

Negotiating the second tranche of spending bills before that deadline will be the true test of whether Speaker Mike Johnson and other congressional leaders can work together to fully fund the government, already five months into the fiscal year. The deal, which negates the risk of a government shutdown just as President Joe Biden is set to deliver his State of the Union address, is the final product of weeks of bipartisan, bicameral negotiations, as well as intense sparring over policy provisions. It follows the funding framework struck by Johnson and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer last month.

Both chambers only have a couple days to pass the stopgap before a partial government shutdown kicks in on Saturday. And there’s still a few hiccups on that point: Johnson will almost certainly need help from Democrats to pass the measure in the House, and all 100 senators will have to agree to speed up debate to move the stopgap through the upper chamber before the March 1 deadline.

Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT), a senior appropriator said, “Look, there’s no reason this shit couldn’t have been done by the end of September. We’re five and a half months into [the fiscal year] … Nearly six months in and we’re still talking about whether I’m confident or not about whether it’s going to be done? We need to get this done.”

Sean Moran is a policy reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.