FY24 Funding Deal Reached

Short-Term Bill Runs Through Mid-March
Mitch McConnell
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell walks to a Republican luncheon on Wednesday after announcing that he will step down as Senate Republican leader in November. (Jacquelyn Martin/AP)

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Congressional leaders announced a deal to fund transportation programs and other federal agencies through fiscal 2024 as the Senate’s top Republican said he will give up his post at the end of the year.

“We are in agreement that Congress must work in a bipartisan manner to fund our government,” said Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) in a statement Feb. 28 that included the chairwomen and ranking members on the Appropriations committees.

“Negotiators have come to an agreement on six bills: Agriculture [Food and Drug Administration], Commerce-Justice and Science, Energy and Water Development, Interior, Military Construction [Veterans Affairs], and Transportation [Housing and Urban Development]. After preparing final text, this package of six full-year appropriations bills will be voted on and enacted prior to March 8,” the congressional leaders explained.

For defense agencies, the leaders intend to advance fiscal 2024 bills by March 22. Funding authority for non-defense agencies is scheduled to expire March 1. Funding authority for defense-related agencies expires March 8. The current fiscal year expires Oct. 1.

Sen. Chuck Schumer


To proceed with this latest budget agreement, Congress needed to consider a short-term funding measure that would avert a partial shutdown in March. A stopgap funding measure would keep the U.S. Department of Transportation operating through mid-March.

“To give the House and Senate Appropriations [committees] adequate time to execute on this deal in principle, including drafting, preparing report language, scoring and other technical matters, and to allow members 72 hours to review, a short-term continuing resolution to fund agencies through March 8 and 22 will be necessary, and voted on by the House and Senate,” the leaders added. The House approved a short-term package on Feb. 29 by a vote of 320-99, with 97 Republicans voting against the stopgap. The Senate then took up the bill and approved it during an evening vote of 77-13. President Biden signed it March 1. 

Reflecting on the funding process, Johnson told reporters on Capitol Hill on Feb. 29: “The appropriations process is ugly. Democracy is ugly.” Senate Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray (D-Wash.), central to the funding negotiations, had repeatedly pressed members of Congress to approve the full-year legislation.

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“We cannot let a few far-right extremists derail the basic functioning of government,” she said Feb. 27, taking aim at a small group of House Republicans. “There’s no reason to listen to them, and there is no way we are going to let them impose extreme policies that go against the basic values of the American people.”

“So I hope bipartisanship will prevail,” Murray went on. “Let’s show the public that Congress still understands a few very simple things: Shutdowns are bad, and working together is good.”

The White House indicated the president endorses a plan that would avert a shutdown. Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre highlighted Congress’ role in the budget process. “There is a potential shutdown. The clock is ticking. They need to do their jobs and get that done,” she told reporters at the White House Feb. 28. President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address is scheduled for March 7.

The Senate last year advanced a $98.9 billion fiscal 2024 appropriations bill for the departments of Transportation and Housing and Urban Development. House Republicans have not advanced their version of the fiscal 2024 transportation bill. The Senate-passed and House appropriations bills would each provide the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration with nearly $1 billion.

Meanwhile, McConnell announced on Feb. 28 he will step down as Republican Senate leader in November.

“Father Time remains undefeated,” the longtime senator told colleagues from the floor of the chamber. “I am no longer the young man sitting in the back, hoping colleagues would remember my name. It is time for the next generation of leadership.”