Short-Term Deal Reached on Funding Bill

Agreement Keeps Government in Business Through Early March
Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.)
(Al Drago/Bloomberg News)

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Congressional leaders have agreed to another short-term funding measure and will extend negotiations on a fiscal 2024 budget through March. 

To avert a partial federal shutdown, the House and Senate on Jan. 18 voted on a continuing resolution, a day before funding expires at the U.S. Department of Transportation and other agencies.

The stopgap bill passed the Senate 77-18 on Jan. 18. House approval followed a few hours later by a vote of 314-108.
Passage in Congress positioned the measure for President Joe Biden’s signature. The White House indicated the president would enact the measure into law before the Jan. 19 funding deadline.

Since the start of the current fiscal year in October, the federal government has functioned with congressional approval of short-term funding bills.

Sen. Chuck Schumer


“There’s every reason in the world to make this an easy, uncomplicated and drama free process,” Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), who manages the Democrat-led Senate, said Jan. 17. “I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to do just that: work in good faith. We’re willing to cooperate — as always — with the other side to keep this process moving, but Republican members need to be realistic and practical about how much time we have left before the shutdown deadline.”

Senate Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray (D-Wash.) is leading the negotiations for her caucus. She expressed optimism this latest short-term agreement would assist colleagues with finalizing full-year legislation.

“I have been working around the clock with my colleagues in both chambers to keep this process moving as quickly as possible and write and pass the strongest possible bipartisan, bicameral funding bills — and get them to the president’s desk,” Murray indicated Jan. 17. “After all, we are talking about negotiating 12 bills that fund our federal government and have huge implications for our families and our country’s future.”

House Speaker Mike Johnson


House Republican leaders acknowledged bicameral negotiations continue. They stopped short, however, of detailing a path for approving a fiscal 2024 measure linked to transportation programs. Such legislation lacks requisite backing from the key members of the GOP caucus.

Reflecting on the current funding process, Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) told reporters on Capitol Hill on Jan. 17: “I regard this as a down payment on real reform that we’re going to do in the budgeting process and with the budget going forward. And I think much, much better days are ahead.”

Meanwhile, senior House Democrats are urging the speaker and his team to finalize fiscal 2024 legislation.



“There is a mutual understanding that the only way to finally end the saga of 2024 funding is to write government funding bills that can earn the support of both Democrats and Republicans in the House and in the Senate,” Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), House Appropriations Committee ranking member, said Jan. 14. “I look forward to quickly passing what is hopefully our last continuing [funding] resolution.”

As part of this new short-term extension strategy, funding for DOT and nondefense agencies would expire March 1. For defense-related agencies funding would expire March 8. White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre emphasized the role congressional leaders are having during the funding negotiations.


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“There’s been detailed, specific conversation happening in the Senate with both Republicans and Democrats for the past several weeks through the holiday, obviously, and that continues,” she told reporters Jan. 16. “We think they’re going in the right direction. And … those conversations are focused on funding and also on policy.”

The Senate last year advanced a $98.9 billion fiscal 2024 appropriations bill for the departments of Transportation and Housing and Urban Development. Specific to transportation agencies, the legislation would dedicate $20.2 billion for the Federal Aviation Administration, $16.8 billion for the Federal Transit Administration and $3.4 billion for the Federal Railroad Administration. The Senate-passed and House appropriations bills would each provide the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration with nearly $1 billion.

House Republicans have yet to advance their version of the fiscal 2024 transportation bill.