Senate Reaches Deal To Pass Spending Bill, But Misses Shutdown Deadline

The Senate reached a deal to pass a consolidated spending bill late Friday but failed to vote on it before the government shutdown deadline.

The Further Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2024, a bill to appropriate $1.2 trillion of public funds, was published by the House of Representatives Appropriations Committee at 2:48 a.m. EST on Thursday. While narrowly passed by the House on Friday, the Senate was unable to pass the bill before the 11:59 p.m. EST deadline, resulting in a technical government shutdown. (RELATED: House Passes Earmark-Laden, $1.2 Trillion Consolidated Spending Bill Hours Before Shutdown Deadline)

The Senate is currently voting on the spending package. The White House Office of Management and Budget announced early Saturday that it “has ceased shutdown preparations because there is a high degree of confidence that Congress will imminently pass the relevant appropriations and the President will sign the bill on Saturday.”

The minibus was released at 2:32 am and is 1,012 pages of $1.2 trillion taxpayer dollars.

And we are supposed to be voting on it tomorrow morning under suspension with no amendments allowed with the super scary government shutdown deadline threat looming tomorrow at midnight.…

— Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene🇺🇸 (@RepMTG) March 21, 2024

“For the rest of us who didn’t see it until 2:30 a.m. [EST] this morning, and for the 330 million Americans out there who will have to pay for this stuff, that’s not adequate notice, that’s not a carefully negotiated agreement. That is collusion among the few affecting the many adversely. I find this very, very disturbing,” Republican Sen. Mike Lee of Utah said on the Senate floor on Thursday, one of the members opposed to the bill. “It begs the question: what are they hiding?”

At 11:44 PM, 15 minutes before the shutdown deadline, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer spoke on the floor announcing a deal to pass the bill, with several votes on amendments and motions from opponents, while asking senators to remain in the chamber to complete the process expeditiously.

“I would ask members respectfully but with strength: sit in your chairs please, so we can get this done,” Schumer said.

The bill was released proximate to the funding deadline due to disagreements over funding for the Department of Homeland Security, which prompted extended negotiations. Funding for the 2024 fiscal year was due to be passed on September 30, 2023, but, owing to disagreements, Congress passed four continuing resolutions to prevent a shutdown, with the latest funding deadline being extended to March 22.

Certain government employees, such as U.S. military and federal law enforcement personnel, are required to continue working during shutdowns to ensure “the protection of life and property,” according to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM).

Several government departments — of Agriculture, Commerce, Veterans’ Affairs, Housing and Urban Development, Transportation, Energy and the Interior — have not shut down, having been funded for the fiscal year in a bill passed on March 8.

After the bill passes, it must be presented to President Joe Biden for his signature in accordance with the presentment clause of the U.S. Constitution, to end the partial shutdown. Biden is in Delaware, having traveled there to spend the weekend, as is a frequent habit.

The shutdown is the first to have occurred during President Joe Biden’s term. The White House, House Speaker Mike Johnson and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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