Johnson Floats Yet Another Short-Term Spending Bill

( – Congress has been wrangling over required federal spending bills for months. Republican lawmakers want to impose deep cuts while Democrats push their usual cash and spend goals. Leaders from both parties recently announced their intention to pass another short-term stopgap bill to avoid a government shutdown on March 1.

House Speaker Mike Johnson floated the compromise to other congressional leaders during a recent meeting at the White House. His plan would extend funding for some government entities through March 8 and others for an additional two weeks until March 22.

On February 28, Johnson issued a statement on his X/Twitter account discussing the compromise. He said congressional leaders agreed to give the Senate and House Appropriations Committees adequate time to accomplish the deal’s goals. That includes drafting the necessary measures, preparing reports, “and other technical matters” to give lawmakers 72 hours to review and approve the stopgap measure by the end of the week.

Johnson explained that congressional negotiators reached an agreement on six bills that will be “voted on and enacted by March 8. They include measures appropriating funding for Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, Military Constructions-Veterans Affairs, Energy and Water Development, Commerce-Justice and Science, and Agriculture-Food and Drug Administration.

The remaining six bills will be finalized, voted on, and enacted by March 22. They included appropriations measures for State and Foreign Operations, Legislative Branch, Labor-Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Financial Services and General Government, and Defense.

Johnson said all the appropriations bills would follow the guidelines detailed in the Fiscal Responsibility Act’s discretionary spending limits. He said they would also adhere to January’s topline spending agreement.

The White House expressed its support for the compromise. Press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre sent a statement to media outlets acknowledging that the agreement would “help prevent a needless shutdown” while providing congressional leaders additional time to work on long-term appropriations bills. She also stressed the need for the House to pass the bipartisan national security supplemental measure “as quickly as possible.”

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