The Senate voted on Tuesday night (1/16) in favor of the initial procedural step crucial to avoiding a partial government shutdown by the week's end.
With a vote of 68-13, the chamber agreed to conclude discussions on the motion to proceed to the shell legislative framework for the stopgap spending measure. This measure is slated to extend until March 1 for four of the twelve annual appropriations bills and until March 8 for the remaining eight.
Leadership in both chambers supports the stopgap measure, aiming to provide appropriators with additional time for negotiating the final fiscal 2024 appropriations bills. This comes in the wake of the $1.66 trillion topline agreement announced earlier this month by Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., and Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y. Without the stopgap extension, budget authority for agencies covered by the Agriculture, Energy-Water, Military Construction-VA, and Transportation-HUD bills would expire after Friday, Jan. 19, as per current law.
Currently, appropriators are engaged in negotiations on how the topline, encompassing $886.3 billion for defense and $772.7 billion for nondefense, will be allocated across the 12 annual appropriations bills. Senate Appropriations Chair Patty Murray, D-Wash., and House Appropriations Chairwoman Kay Granger, R-Texas, are actively involved in negotiating subcommittee allocations, a process originally expected to conclude last week.