Congressional leaders reach agreement on Homeland Security funding before shutdown deadline

by | Mar 19, 2024

Congressional leaders have finalized a deal to fund the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for the remainder of fiscal 2024.This agreement resolves the funding for all six bills due by Friday's shutdown deadline.

While negotiators are still ironing out the specifics and drafting the legislative text for the DHS agreement, the source indicated that it will be a full-year bill rather than a stopgap measure, which lawmakers had been considering over the weekend.

Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) confirmed the news of the deal on Tuesday morning, emphasizing that committees are actively working on the text to expedite its release and consideration.

Biden has stated on Tuesday that he will promptly sign the government funding package into law.

The agreement on DHS funding comes as members are working against the clock to avoid a partial government shutdown by Friday's midnight deadline.

Despite the deal, Congress may still need to pass a short-term continuing resolution before Friday to ensure the smooth operation of the government in Washington while lawmakers finalize consideration of the funding legislation. House Republicans have emphasized the need for at least 72 hours to review any bills before voting on the House floor, and Senate procedures could extend the consideration process into the weekend.

Congressional leaders aimed to release the text for the bills over the weekend, but disagreements specifically regarding DHS funding postponed this timeline. Nonetheless, lawmakers have reached an agreement on the five other appropriations bills.

If the DHS deal remains intact and Congress successfully passes the remaining six funding bills, it would represent a victory for Johnson. He has been actively involved in pushing for the approval of the entire slate of appropriations bills, aiming to prevent the need for a comprehensive, end-of-year omnibus package. Johnson has consistently advocated for breaking the pattern of relying on omnibus bills in Washington, expressing his desire to curb the trend of “omnibus fever.”

House Freedom Caucus Chair Bob Good (R-Va.) and Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas), along with a group of 41 Republicans, issued a “Dear Colleague” letter on Monday urging all GOP lawmakers to oppose the appropriations package, or a similar measure, intended to directly fund the Biden administration's border policies.

They reiterated their call for incorporating “core elements” from H.R. 2, the border security bill that House Republicans passed last year.

Source: The Hill




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