Congress passed a third short-term spending bill on Thursday for fiscal year (FY) 2024, extending funding at current levels to early March. Funding for certain federal agencies was set to expire Friday night without additional action by Congress – the first deadline under the “laddered” continuing resolution (CR) Congress passed in the fall. The previous laddered CR extended funding for four appropriations accounts until January 19 and the remaining accounts, including funding for the U.S. Department of Education, until February 2.
Congressional leaders recently reached a deal on overall levels for defense and non-defense spending for FY 2024 that would increase funding less than one percent compared to FY 2023. However, lawmakers did not have enough time to draft and pass final legislation before the January and early February CR deadlines arrived. The third CR passed Thursday follows the same “laddered” approach as the prior short-term measure, extending funding for the first batch of agencies to March 1 and funding for the remaining agencies, including ED, to March 8.
Following passage in the Senate, the CR was passed with significant Democratic support in the House but significant Republican opposition as many conservative Republicans opposed passing another short-term spending bill. Lawmakers will turn to drafting and passing final appropriations legislation over the next few weeks, but negotiations are expected to be challenging, as House conservatives push to include changes addressing U.S. border security and controversial policy provisions.