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Government Shutdown

Congress Reaches Deal To Avert Government Shutdown

Congress will need to pass the bills before the first government funding deadline on January 19.

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer and Speaker of the House Mike Johnson at the U.S. Capitol on Dec. 12, 2023. | TOM WILLIAMS/CQ-ROLL CALL, INC VIA GETTY IMAGES

WASHINGTON — House Speaker Mike Johnson and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced on Sunday an agreement that would avoid a government shutdown and keep the federal government funded until the end of the fiscal year.

The agreement would cap spending levels at $886 billion for defense spending for the current fiscal year and $773 billion for non-defense spending, totaling $1.59 trillion in fiscal year 2024. The deal is similar to the one President Joe Biden and former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy made last year.

“The framework agreement to proceed will enable the appropriators to address many of the major challenges America faces at home and abroad. It will also allow us to keep the investments for hardworking American families secured by the legislative achievements of President Biden and Congressional Democrats,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries said in a joint statement.

Congress will need to pass the bills before the first government funding deadline on January 19. The agreement will likely enrage far-right House Republicans, who have said they would not vote unless the deal had deep spending cuts and border restrictions. This means Johnson will need support from the Democratic minority for the bill to pass.

Johnson added that there will be “key modifications” to the agreement in order to reduce nonmilitary spending with a $16 billion “offset.”

“While these final spending levels will not satisfy everyone, and they do not cut as much spending as many of us would like, this deal does provide us a path to: 1) move the process forward; 2) reprioritize funding within the topline towards conservative objectives, instead of last year’s Schumer-Pelosi omnibus; and 3) fight for the important policy riders included in our House FY24 bills,” Johnson wrote in his letter to colleagues.

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Biden praised the deal in a statement on Sunday while calling on House Republicans to do their job.

“The bipartisan funding framework congressional leaders have reached moves us one step closer to preventing a needless government shutdown and protecting important national priorities. It reflects the funding levels that I negotiated with both parties and signed into law last spring,” he said. “Now, congressional Republicans must do their job, stop threatening to shut down the government, and fulfill their basic responsibility to fund critical domestic and national security priorities, including my supplemental request. It’s time for them to act.”

Stephen Anderson
Written By

Stephen Michael is a Political Correspondent based in the United States. He has reached a global audience with his coverage of the 2020 Election and Trump White House. Michael joins Forward Axis News after spending time with the Project Spurs Network since 2014 and covering reality TV in the UK, Australia, and Canada.

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