Another Last-Minute Deal Averts Shutdown (This Week)

Senate clears measure Thursday evening, with more spending talks next week
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 29, 2024 2:25 PM CST
Updated Feb 29, 2024 7:58 PM CST
Johnson Gets Democratic Votes on Bill to Avert Shutdown
Speaker of the House Mike Johnson at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 29, 2024.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

The House passed another short-term spending measure Thursday that would keep one set of federal agencies operating through March 8 and another set through March 22, per the AP. The Senate then took up the bill and easily approved it during an evening vote. It now goes to President Biden for his signature, thus avoiding a shutdown for parts of the federal government that would have otherwise kicked in Saturday.

  • The House vote to approve the measure was 320-99, easily clearing the two-thirds majority needed for passage. Most of the votes came from Democrats (all but two were in favor), while Republicans were roughly split (113-97), per the New York Times. The Senate vote was 77-13.
  • The short-term extension is the fourth in recent months, and many lawmakers expect it to be the last for the current fiscal year, including House Speaker Mike Johnson. He said negotiators had completed six of the annual spending bills that fund federal agencies and had "almost final agreement" on the six others.

  • Next week, the House and Senate are expected to take up a package of six spending bills and get them to the president before March 8. Then, lawmakers would work to fund the rest of the government by the new March 22 deadline.
  • The new deal again puts Johnson "on thin ice with members of the right flank, who abhor short-term spending bills and are becoming fed up with his propensity to put continuing resolutions on the floor that pass with Democratic support—as was the case on Thursday," per the Hill.
  • At the end of the process, Congress is set to approve more than $1.6 trillion in spending for the fiscal year that began Oct. 1—roughly in line with the previous fiscal year. That's the amount that former Speaker Kevin McCarthy negotiated with the White House last year before eight disgruntled Republican lawmakers joined with Democrats a few months later and voted to oust him from the position.
(More government shutdown stories.)

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