Government Shutdown Averted, for Now
January 19, 2024
Over the weekend of January 12, House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) agreed upon a one-bill stop-gap, continuing resolution (CR), to push the federal government funding dates from January 19 and February 1st to March 1st and March 8th. Thursday afternoon Congress passed the CR to avert the impending shutdown of the federal government. The CR was passed first in the Senate on a 77 to 18 vote margin, and then later in the day the House passed the same measure 314 to 108. It has now moved to President Biden’s desk which he must sign before 12:01 am, January 20th to ensure succinct government funding of all programs.
March 1st will now be the revised funding deadline for the U.S. Departments of Housing and Urban Development, Transportation, Veterans Affairs, Energy and Agriculture, while the March 8th deadline is now the deadline for funding the U.S. Department of Defense, Labor and Health & Human Services, which is the larger package of funding, and the most controversial.
What’s next and what does this mean for our credit union communities?
Although Congress was able to reach an agreement and extend the funding deadline to the March dates, the potential for additional government shutdown deadlines remains, particularly because there are only six total days before March 1st that both the House and Senate are in session at the same time. In total, the Senate has only passed a total of three appropriations bills and the House has passed seven appropriations bills, and no negotiations on final bills have been accomplished. In addition to Congress passing the CR, there remains the need to pass all twelve (12) appropriations bills to maintain long-term federal government function, at least through the 2024 Fiscal Year.
An additional challenge will be the political climate within the House, as Speaker Johnson is facing backlash from a group of far-right Republican House members. This group is angry that he pushed the CR through with the help of mostly Democrats, after saying he would not do so earlier this year. As of right now, Speaker Johnson will remain in his seat, but as March approaches, it will become clearer whether the ire from the far-right will be enough to call for his ouster.
The timing of the new funding deadlines is unique, as once again our GoWest advocates will be back in DC immediately before the new funding deadline, taking part in the America’s Credit Unions’ National Government Affairs Conference, March 3-7. We will be delivering impactful messaging and policy perspectives on important credit union issues as we head to Capitol Hill, including the importance of establishing a predictable and steadfast manner in which to fund and operate the U.S. Government
As we get closer to the new March deadlines, the GoWest team will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates on these critical dates and issues. Resources and tools are readily available in the event of a government shutdown, which can be found at the GoWest Government Shutdown Resource Center. As always, we are here to be of assistance and answer any questions as you need.