Congress averts shutdown

Federal transportation and housing funding will continue to flow until early March after Congress late Thursday passed a short-term appropriations bill a day ahead of a partial government shutdown.

“There will not be a shutdown on Friday,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. “Because both sides have worked together, the government will stay open. Services will not be disrupted. We will avoid a needless disaster.”

The Republican-led House passed the continuing resolution by a vote of 314 to 108 — with hard-right Republicans opposed — and sent the measure to President Joe Biden’s desk late Thursday. Biden is expected to sign it before midnight Friday. The Senate passed the measure 77-18 earlier Thursday.

The two-tiered spending keeps the government open another six weeks, until March 1 and 8, allowing lawmakers more time to finish fiscal 2024 appropriations. Funding for several agencies, including the Department of Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, which was set to expire Friday, will now flow until March 1.

The remaining agencies, which faced a Feb. 2 deadline, now have until March 8 before funding dries up. Funding for the Federal Aviation Administration is also set to run out on March 8.

The fiscal 2024 continuing resolution that averted a government shutdown is “good news for Americans,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.

Bloomberg News

It’s the third time Congress has passed a short-term spending bill since fiscal 2024 began Oct. 1.

The move clears the way for a full-year appropriations deal. House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., on Jan. 8 agreed on an overall 2024 spending level of $1.659 trillion. The deal largely adheres to a debt ceiling deal reached in 2023 to avoid a default on the nation’s debt. The agreement includes $773 billion for non-defense discretionary spending and $886 billion for defense.

“Once we put the threat of a shutdown behind us, I hope we continue seeing even more bipartisanship as appropriators complete the very important task of fully funding the government in coming weeks,” Schumer said Thursday.