Congress announces spending deal as shutdown looms

US Capitol over clear blue sky

House and Senate leaders announced on Sunday a $1.59 trillion spending deal for government funding in 2024, tentatively averting a potential shutdown later this month. House Speaker Mike Johnson and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer shared that the agreement includes $886 billion in defense spending and $704 billion in non-defense spending.

Johnson’s and Schumer’s agreement reduces the chances of a shutdown, however, there are still major hurdles facing Congress ahead of two funding deadlines (January 19 and February 2).  Conservatives are still demanding to use the funding bill as leverage to impose more stringent immigration and border security demands, and congress will still have to approve funding bills to avoid a shutdown by the deadlines.

President Joe Biden said Sunday, “The bipartisan funding framework congressional leaders have reached moves us one step closer to preventing a needless government shutdown and protecting important national priorities. It reflects the funding levels that I negotiated with both parties and signed into law last spring.”

In a letter to his Republican colleagues Sunday, Johnson wrote: “We have secured hard-fought concessions to unlock the FY 24 topline numbers and allow the Appropriations Committee to finally begin negotiating and completing the twelve annual appropriations bills.” Concessions from Democrats include “an additional $10 billion in cuts to the IRS mandatory funding (for a total of $20 billion), which was a key part of the Democrats’ ‘Inflation Reduction Act.’ In addition, we will cut $6.1 billion from the Biden’s Administration’s continued COVID-era slush funds, which we achieved despite fierce opposition.”

Schumer’s statement with House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries said that the agreement on non-defense discretionary spending will allow Democrats to “protect key domestic priorities like veterans benefits, health care and nutrition assistance from the draconian cuts sought by right-wing extremists. It will also allow us to keep the investments for hardworking American families secured by the legislative achievements of President Biden and Congressional Democrats. We have made clear to Speaker Mike Johnson that Democrats will not support including poison pill policy changes in any of the twelve appropriations bills put before the Congress.”

Editorial credit: S.Borisov /

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