Adam S. Olsen- Washington, D.C.
March 19, 2024

President Joe Biden and congressional leaders announced Tuesday that they had reached a government funding deal, signaling the close of a months-long saga that caused numerous shutdown threats.  With a tight window left to consider funding bills, it is possible that there will still be a brief government shutdown over the weekend, however, it will likely have little impact on services or federal workers unless it stretches into next week.  The Department of Homeland Security funding had appeared to be the main sticking point in a broader spending package, which includes the following funding bills: Defense, Financial Services and General Government, Homeland Security, Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, Legislative Branch, and State and Foreign Operations.  Legislative text is expected to be released tomorrow, and then the House requires a 72-hour period to consider legislation before it can be voted on.  The Senate could consider it the same day – but only if all 100 senators agree to speed up the process, leaving it vulnerable as always to last-minute complications.  Every year, Congress has to pass 12 individual spending bills to fund the government long term. Lawmakers passed six of them earlier this month; the remaining six fund around 70% of the federal government.

Both chambers return to Washington today as they await text of the funding package. The Senate will convene at 3:00 P.M. and will vote on whether to confirm Nicole Berner to a position on the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.

The House will vote on eleven bills under suspension of the Rules at 6:30 P.M. including H.R. 1836 – Ocean Shipping Reform Implementation Act of 2023.

Adam S. Olsen, Washington, D.C.