Speaker Johnson Moves to Give Lawmakers More Time to Pass Appropriations Bills

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) hopes to avert a looming partial government shutdown by giving lawmakers more time to negotiate the details over appropriations bills.

Johnson has made clear to congressional Democrats and the White House he is willing to shut down the government unless they agree to pass all fiscal year 2024 appropriations bills, as is constitutionally mandated.

Johnson, to give lawmakers more time to hash out the details over the bills, said that they could pass a short-term bill to extend the funding deadline from March 1 and 8 to March 8 and March 22.

He said that he could only do this if there is an agreement with four bills that will expire on March 1, this Friday. This includes the Agriculture, Energy, Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, as well as the Interior and Financial Services bills.

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Matt Perdie / Breitbart News

The remaining bills would have a March 22 deadline, which include the Defense, Homeland Security, and the Labor and Health and Human Services (HHS) bills.

Democrats remain optimistic about the prospects about hashing out the details over the appropriations bills.

“We’re making good progress,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said as he left the Capitol Building Tuesday night.

Punchbowl News reported:

In reality, Republican conservatives want a yearlong CR that automatically will cut spending across the board. Most of those cuts would fall on non-defense domestic spending rather than the Pentagon or military programs. GOP conservatives argue Democrats care more about those programs anyway. So the political price for Republicans is pretty low, they claim.

But Johnson has very few options here that don’t involve triggering a government shutdown, and it’s already five months into FY 2024. Johnson cut a deal with Schumer on topline spending seven weeks ago. Yet the two parties – especially House Republicans – have dragged out fights over abortion, guns, and social spending in crafting final bills.

Athina Lawson, a Johnson press secretary, said in a statement to Punchbowl News, “Any CR would be part of a larger agreement to finish a number of appropriations bills, ensuring adequate time for drafting text and for members to review prior to casting votes.”

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


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