Government Funding in Trouble Again

February 22, 2024

The House returns from recess next week with three days to avoid a partial government shutdown and a faction of hardline conservative lawmakers insisting that Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) defend GOP-backed policy riders as part of any spending agreement.

While lawmakers in both chambers say they’re making good progress on FY24 spending bills, the consensus among negotiators is that another short-term continuing resolution will likely be needed to avoid a partial government shutdown on March 1 and March 8. Johnson has opposed passing any more short-term CRs to fund the government.

Earlier this week, Freedom Caucus members called on Johnson to defend the House GOP policy riders – which include red-meat provisions on everything from abortion and guns to government DEI programs and student loan relief.  Congressional Democrats have said that there’s no way they will support these policy riders in any spending bills, and indeed, Johnson has had to rely on Democratic votes to pass previous short-term CRs.

“We Democrats are doing everything we can to avoid a shutdown,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) told Punchbowl News. “I am hopeful that, on the Republican side, cooler heads prevail, and that they can come to the conclusion that a shutdown is bad for America. Because it’s certainly bad for them.”

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