News Detail

Congressional Leaders Announce Weekend Deal to Try and Avoid Partial Government Shutdown This Friday

This weekend, Congressional leadership agreed to try to avoid a partial government shutdown this week by seeking approval of a new Continuing Resolution (CR). This new CR would retain the current “laddered” funding approach by extending the current government funding deadlines of this Friday, January 19th, and February 2nd to March 1 and March 8, respectively.  This CR is being sold as necessary to give appropriators more time to write spending bills that will involve many hot-button policy disputes. So even if this CR passes, there is no guarantee that House and Senate Appropriators will succeed in drafting and passing all 12 spending bills ahead of these new deadlines.

The effort to pass this CR will begin in the Senate tomorrow with a cloture vote on the vehicle Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) filed cloture on last week. If that succeeds, Leader Schumer will substitute this new CR deal text for the text of the current vehicle. But to get this CR through the Senate and then the House before Friday will require a time agreement in the Senate so that they do not have to use all of the normal post-cloture debate time. This means that just one Senator may be able to force this process into the weekend, past Friday’s deadline. Additionally, the inclement weather in D.C. and elsewhere may delay some Senators returning to D.C.

If the CR gets through the Senate, it will be a battle to pass it in the House. The conservative House Freedom Caucus has already announced its opposition to the deal. To avoid issues the Freedom Caucus could cause if Speaker Johnson tries to move the CR through the House Rules Committee, the Speaker will likely have to move the bill under suspension of the House Rules. This process requires a super-majority of two-thirds support for passage. Assuming all House Democrats votes yes, the Speaker needs to provide at least 77 Republican votes to reach this two-thirds threshold. But beyond getting the votes to pass the CR, Speaker Johnson will also be focused on getting enough support for the deal to avoid encouraging an effort to oust him as Speaker of the House. At a minimum, this probably requires getting at least a simple majority of 110 members of House Republican Conference.

It will be another interesting week in Washington!

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