Updated Jan 18, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Congress votes to hold off government shutdown until March

Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

Congress on Thursday passed legislation keeping the federal government funded past Jan. 19 and avoiding a shutdown at least until March.

Why it matters: Lawmakers hope the extension will give them time to craft annual spending bills at the levels agreed to by House Republicans and Senate Democrats.

  • This is the third stopgap effort passed by Congress since the annual funding bills expired at the end of September.

Driving the news: The Senate voted 77-18 on Thursday afternoon to pass the measure, called a continuing resolution (CR), with House expected to vote later in the day.

  • The CR maintains the "laddered" approach of the funding extension passed in November, funding a handful of less contested budgets until March 1 and the rest until March 8.
  • The legislation passed the House by a vote of 314-108 under a process known as "suspension," which requires bills to pass with a two-third majority but bypasses the need for party-line procedural votes that have been routinely hijacked by GOP hardliners.

What we're watching: Right-wing House Republicans who have raged against House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) for his spending deal with Democrats may revolt at his latest end-run around them to fund the government.

Editor's note: This article was updated after the House passed the CR.

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