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Congressional leaders reach a $1.6 trillion budget agreement

The agreement, totaling $1.6 trillion, aims to avert a potential partial government shutdown scheduled for Jan.19.
Congressional leaders say they have reached a budget agreement
Posted at 1:32 PM, Jan 07, 2024

Congress leaders have announced they have reached an agreement to fund the federal government through 2024.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Mike Johnson revealed the bipartisan deal to fund the federal government on Sunday, signaling a crucial step forward. 

"The framework agreement to proceed will enable the appropriators to address many of the major challenges America faces at home and abroad. It will also allow us to keep the investments for hardworking American families secured by the legislative achievements of President Biden and Congressional Democrats. Finally, 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," said Schumer and House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries in a joint statement. 

The agreement, totaling $1.6 trillion, aims to avert a potential partial government shutdown scheduled for Jan.19. This funding arrangement aligns with a prior agreement reached between President Joe Biden and the then-House Speaker Kevin McCarthy last spring. According to Schumer's office, the agreement means that Democrats have ensured a non-defense funding level of $772.7 billion and $886.3 billion for Defense. These are the precise levels outlined in the Fiscal Responsibility Act, also known as the debt deal, which includes the extra $69 billion in non-defense spending as outlined in the side agreement.

However, this agreement is anticipated to face opposition from far-right members of Congress.

President Biden expressed gratitude to Democratic leaders in a released statement, while also urging Congressional Republicans to fulfill their responsibilities and cease the threat of a government shutdown.

"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. It rejects deep cuts to programs hardworking families count on, and provides a path to passing full-year funding bills that deliver for the American people and are free of any extreme policies. I want to thank Leaders Schumer and Jeffries for their leadership in reaching this framework. Now, congressional Republicans must do their job, stop threatening to shut down the government, and fulfill their basic responsibility to fund critical domestic and national security priorities, including my supplemental request. It’s time for them to act," President Biden said. 

The House, led by Republicans, and the Senate, led by Democrats, must decide together how to distribute the funds. After reaching an agreement, they will create and share the corresponding legislation, which needs approval from both chambers.

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