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Congress has a funding deal – and a race against time

File Photo: ​U.S. House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) speaks during a Congressional Gold Medal ceremony posthumously honoring Major League Baseball player, civil rights activist and World War II veteran, Lawrence Eugene “Larry” Doby, in Statuary Hall at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., December 13, 2023.

File Photo: U.S. House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) speaks during a Congressional Gold Medal ceremony posthumously honoring Major League Baseball player, civil rights activist and World War II veteran, Lawrence Eugene “Larry” Doby, in Statuary Hall at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., December 13, 2023.

REUTERS/Elizabeth Frantz

Leaders from both parties in the House and Senate reached a deal Sunday that would fund the government through 2024 to the tune of $1.66 trillion, but now legislators face a tight timeline to pass it into law against far-right objections.


No one is getting everything they want: Non-defense budgets will stay pretty much flat, while military spending will grow by about 3%. Democrats agreed to give up $10 billion in funding for the IRS, but Republicans who called for the funding deal to be tied to stricter immigration policy didn’t get their wish.

Funding for about 20% of the government runs out on Jan. 19, while the rest expires on Feb. 2. That doesn’t give Congress much time to draft language and hash out the details, and some lawmakers expressed apprehension about wrangling a complex bill on a compressed timeline.

Adding to the pressure are far-right Republicans, who want Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) to reject any spending deal with Democrats that doesn’t address what they see as an out-of-control migration policy. His predecessor, Kevin McCarthy, lost his job in a rather embarrassing fashion for ignoring them, and we’ll be watching how Johnson chooses to navigate their concerns.

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