Updated Jan 7, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Congress strikes 10th-hour deal on 2024 spending

Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

House Republicans and Senate Democrats have come to an agreement on topline spending numbers for the rest of 2024, congressional leaders announced Sunday.

Why it matters: Congress still has to cut deals on the individual spending bills left to pass, but this is a key step to dodging a government shutdown later this month.

The details: In messaging guidance sent to House Republicans on Sunday, Johnson's office said topline government spending will be set at $1.59 trillion for fiscal year 2024 – the level set in last year's bipartisan debt ceiling deal.

  • $886 billion of that is Pentagon funding set out in defense spending bill President Biden signed in December.
  • That leaves $704 billion in non-defense spending, Johnson's office said, touting "the first cut in non-VA, non-defense appropriations in years."

The intrigue: House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said in a joint statement that the non-discretionary spending figure is actually $772.7 billion, which would bring the total spending topline to $1.66 trillion.

  • Schumer's office pointed to an additional $69 billion as part of a "side agreement" between former Speaker Kevin McCarthy and President Biden in the debt ceiling deal to account for the discrepancy.
  • Johnson's messaging guidance said Sunday's deal includes $10 billion in "additional cuts" to the IRS. Schumer's office said that's part of $20 billion in cuts that were already agreed to, but which would happen "this year rather than over the course of two years."
  • Both sides said the new deal also claws back $6.1 billion in unspent COVID aid funds.

What they're saying: "As promised, the Speaker negotiated from a position of strength with the Democrat-controlled Senate and White House to deliver the most favorable budget agreement Republicans have achieved in over a decade," Johnson's messaging guidance said.

  • He said the deal also allows House Republicans to "continue fighting for conservative policy wins" by fighting to include policy riders to appropriations bills and to "reprioritize" spending in the budget.

The other side: "The bipartisan funding framework congressional leaders have reached moves us one step closer to preventing a needless government shutdown," Biden said in a statement.

  • Biden said the deal "rejects deep cuts to programs hardworking American families count on" and called for Republicans to to pass additional funding for Israel, Ukraine, the Indo-Pacific and border security.
  • Jeffries and Schumer said they made clear to Johnson that Democrats "will not support including poison pill policy changes" in the twelve individual appropriations bills.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details.

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