Congressional leaders announce deal to fund rest of government

Mar 19, 2024, 4:09 PM | Updated: 5:52 pm

US Capitol Caption...

Congressional leaders on Tuesday announced a deal to keep the rest of the government funded through the fiscal year, (Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images via CNN Newsource)

(Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images via CNN Newsource)

Washington (CNN) — Congressional leaders on Tuesday formally announced a deal to keep the rest of the government funded through the fiscal year, but with just days to go before a key deadline, members from both parties in the House and Senate will need to cooperate in order to prevent a partial government shutdown.

Speaker Mike Johnson announced the deal in a statement, saying he hopes the text of the legislation will be released “as soon as possible,” a key step expected before either chamber votes.

Congress has until 11:59 p.m. ET Friday to pass the deal, and getting through both chambers is expected to take days. Johnson, a Louisiana Republican, will likely need many Democratic votes to pass the legislation as the far right wing of his conference have been pushing against the bill. And in the Democratic-controlled Senate, any one member of the narrowly divided chamber can slow down the process, pushing the federal government past its deadline.

House Freedom Caucus member Chip Roy, a Texas Republican, expressed frustration on Tuesday as he lashed out at House GOP leadership over the agreement. Roy slammed the deal as “pre-cooked.”

“This is not the way to do business. I think this is going to be the source of conversation the remainder of this year, through the election season, after November, particularly if we’re in the majority, I think we’ll have a real conversation that we need to go back to what we were doing last year,” he told CNN’s Manu Raju.

“This bill looks like it’s pre-cooked, it’s gonna be dropped on the floor, it’s gonna be take it or leave it. That’s back to the old way of doing things, which I think is a mistake,” he said. “I’m just disappointed about the spending deal, not focusing on the speaker per se. It’s just not where the American people want us to be.”

A GOP leadership aide told CNN on Monday night that congressional negotiators had reached an agreement on funding for the Department of Homeland Security. At a time when security at the southern border has become a central issue in the 2024 campaign, funding for the agency had become a major obstacle.

“House and Senate committees have begun drafting bill text to be prepared for release and consideration by the full House and Senate as soon as possible,” Johnson announced in his statement.

Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries added: “In the next few days, upon completion of the drafting process, Congress will review and consider the appropriations package in order to fund the government and meet the needs of hardworking American taxpayers.”

The leaders of the Senate, Democrat Chuck Schumer and Republican Mitch McConnell, also released statements regarding the agreement.

In his own statement, President Joe Biden welcomed news of the deal.

“We have come to an agreement with Congressional leaders on a path forward for the remaining full-year funding bills,” Biden wrote. “The House and Senate are now working to finalize a package that can quickly be brought to the floor, and I will sign it immediately.”

McConnell said he believes the Senate will finish the appropriations process “very, very soon” provided the chamber is able to garner “serious cooperation” from members to get it done ahead of the funding deadline on Friday.

“This week the Senate faces one more test to complete the appropriations process, and the stakes really couldn’t be higher,” he said during his Tuesday floor remarks. “The work before us is gravely necessary, and I’m encouraged that we are beginning this week with an agreement, and to actually complete the process.”

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Congressional leaders announce deal to fund rest of government