Politics

Congressional leaders reach agreement on final spending bill before shutdown

Congressional leaders said Tuesday morning that they had reached agreement on the final package of spending laws to fund the federal government through the fall, although it was unclear whether they would able to adopt it in time to avoid a brief partial shutdown during the year. weekend.

House Republicans, Senate Democrats and the White House disagreed over funding levels for the Department of Homeland Security. For days, they have debated disagreements that threaten to jeopardize the spending program that also funds the Pentagon, State Department and other agencies. On Friday, they will have until midnight to pass the measure and avoid a funding interruption.

A breakthrough Monday evening, in which Democrats and Republicans were able to agree on Homeland Security funding levels for the rest of the fiscal year, allowed negotiators to finalize their deal.

“A deal has been reached” that will allow Congress to fund the government through September 30, President Mike Johnson said in a statement. “The House and Senate committees have begun drafting the text of the bill which will be prepared for publication and consideration by the full House and Senate as soon as possible.”

Still, the delay in closing the deal could pave the way for a brief interruption in government funding over the weekend. It will take time for congressional staff to draft the text of the bill, which packages six spending measures into one sweeping piece of legislation.

House Republicans have demanded that Mr. Johnson follow a house rule that gives lawmakers 72 hours to review the text of a bill before voting on it, although previous House leaders have sometimes abandoned that directive.

And a number of senators may create procedural obstacles to the bill's passage and demand a vote on the proposed changes or object to its early consideration. These tactics could push final passage past 12:01 a.m. Saturday morning, when funding is set to expire.

Late last year, Mr. Johnson cut the spending process in halfcreating two partial government shutdown deadlines instead of one, in an effort to avoid asking members to vote on just one on a huge catch-all to fund the entire government, which Republicans opposed Many times.

Earlier this month, lawmakers were able to negotiate and pass a six-bill, $460 billion spending package that barely met the first March 8 deadline, and are now repeating the process – this time haggling over funding for more politically strained agencies – before the second deadline at the end of this week.

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