CBS19: Congress reaches agreement on spending level for 2024 

CBS19, GARRETT WHITTON

Congressional leaders announced Sunday they have reached an agreement on the overall spending level for the remainder of 2024 as they seek to avoid a government shutdown later this month.

Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger (D-VA-7th) says the looming shutdown is less of a threat this time than it has been in the past.

In November, the U.S. House voted to prevent a government shutdown. Republican Speaker Mike Johnson had to work with Democrats after hard-right conservatives opposed his plan.

According to Democratic leaders, this time, the $1.6 trillion deal includes more than $800 billion for defense and more than $700 billion for non-defense spending.

It’s slightly above the nearly $1.6 trillion deal that was reached in a bipartisan deal last year and includes changes to discretionary spending that was part of a side agreement between President Joe Biden and then-House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.

Spanberger says this spending deal, which is likely to pass with bipartisan support, details how much spending Congress can allocate for fiscal year 2024.

“The next step is the actual full-out appropriations in terms of allocating dollars to all the different departments and programs within the government, is the next piece of it. It’s a lengthy process,” she said.

So far, none of the annual appropriations bills that fund the government have made it through the Republican-controlled House and the Democratic-led Senate. Instead, Congress has been relying on short-term funding extensions to keep the government operating.

It is now facing two fast-approaching deadlines to prevent another shutdown. Veterans programs, transportation, housing, agriculture, and energy departments are funded through Jan. 19, while funding for eight other appropriations bills, including defense, expires Feb. 2.

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