Deal reached to avoid partial government shutdown Friday

ByRachel Scott ABCNews logo
Thursday, February 29, 2024

House and Senate leaders on Wednesday reached a bipartisan deal to avert a partial government shutdown ahead of a Friday deadline.

Under terms of the deal, the House is expected to vote Thursday on a temporary funding bill. The Senate will vote soon after.

With Democratic support, the legislation is expected to pass the House. It could face procedural hurdles in the Senate if one member objects to expediting the voting process, potentially pushing a vote past the shutdown deadline.

If it passes, the deal would avert a partial shutdown this Friday of roughly 20% of the government, and create new funding deadlines: March 8 for that 20% and March 22 for the remaining 80%.

A March 8 deadline could leave President Joe Biden delivering his State of the Union address the night before the deadline to avert a partial shutdown.

Earlier Wednesday, when asked about government funding, Speaker Mike Johnson said, "Things are moving along well" as he entered the Capitol.

Members of Johnson's own conference have pushed back at his plan to use continuing resolutions. Last week, the House Freedom Caucus pushed Johnson to introduce a yearlong stopgap funding bill with deep cuts to government spending.

In a meeting with other top congressional leaders at the White House earlier this week, Johnson said he believed they could all come to an agreement and that Republicans were working in "good faith" on spending negotiations, though he continues to face some pushback from GOP hard-liners on how to handle the issue.

"We all agree a shutdown is a loser for the American people. In a shutdown, costs would go up, safety would go down, and the American people would pay the price," Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said on the Senate floor Wednesday. "I'm hopeful that the four leaders can reach this agreement very soon but so we cannot only avoid a shutdown on Friday but get closer to finishing the appropriations process all together."

Schumer called on House Republicans to set aside partisanship and resist the threats by hard-liners to shut the government down unless all of their demands are met.

"This is no way to govern. If our House Republican colleagues of good will want to do the right thing, they must accept a fundamental truth about divided government: Republicans cannot pass a bill without Democratic support. It takes both sides working together and ignoring the extremes of the hard-right to get anything done."

ABC News' Sarah Beth Hensley contributed to this report.

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