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Wednesday, February 21, 2024

White House asks Congress to pass short-term spending bill to avert government shutdown

The White House is asking Congress to pass a short-term spending bill — known as a continuing resolution — to keep the government funded and avoid a partial shutdown on Oct. 1.

The government is currently funded through the end of September, and the Office of Management and Budget recognizes Congress needs more time to reach “bipartisan, bicameral” agreement on the individual annual appropriations bills for the government programs and agencies for the 2024 fiscal year.

“Although the crucial work continues to reach a bipartisan, bicameral agreement on fiscal year 2024 appropriations bills, it is clear that a short-term continuing resolution (CR) will be needed next month,” an OMB spokesperson said, adding that OMB would provide Congress with technical assistance to avoid “severe disruptions to government services in the first quarter of the fiscal year.”

The funding deadline comes as House Speaker Kevin McCarthy faces increasing pressure from the most conservative members of his party to move forward with an impeachment inquiry into President Biden. Last month, McCarthy said House Republicans’ investigations into Mr. Biden are “rising to the level of impeachment inquiry.”

House Republicans move closer to impeachment inquiry

Both the House and the Senate are trying to pass individual appropriation bills, rather than a massive omnibus measure, like the one passed last December for fiscal year 2023 government funding. But reaching consensus on anything of substance has proven difficult — although not impossible — for this Congress. Republicans hold only a narrow majority in the House, making McCarthy’s position within his own conference tenuous at times.

Sara Cook contributed to this report

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