Capitol Correspondence - 01.16.24

Federal Government Faces Potential Shutdown

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Photo credit Patrick Semansky/AP Photo
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In a recent development, House and Senate leaders have proposed a stopgap funding bill to extend the government’s spending authority until March 1 and March 8. This move aims to provide additional time for appropriators to draft spending bills in line with the topline deal negotiated between House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY).

The stopgap package, while straightforward in its extension of the shutdown deadline until March 1 for specific spending bills, has faced opposition. The House Freedom Caucus has expressed concerns about passing a short-term spending bill that continues at current funding levels.

The Senate is expected to take up the funding bill first, with Majority Leader Chuck Schumer emphasizing the need for bipartisan cooperation to swiftly pass a continuing resolution (CR) and avert a shutdown before the impending deadline on Friday. The House, on the other hand, is grappling with challenges as Speaker of the House Mike Johnson seeks to navigate the intricacies of garnering support from his caucus.

In a statement regarding the CR, Speaker Johnson stated, “Because the completion deadlines are upon us, a short continuing resolution is required to complete what House Republicans are working hard to achieve: an end to governance by omnibus, meaningful policy wins, and better stewardship of American tax dollars.”

To pass the CR in the House, Johnson faces the task of securing a substantial number of Republican votes for the needed two-thirds majority necessary for a bill to pass under suspension of the rules. With nearly every House Democrat expected to vote in favor, the timeline is tight, and Johnson’s ability to corral support will be crucial in avoiding a government shutdown.

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