No shutdown maybe
The top House and Senate negotiators working on a government spending bill for fiscal 2023 said late Tuesday they have agreed on a "bipartisan, bicameral framework" to fund the government through September. Current funding for the federal government expires on Friday night, and Congress is expected, though not guaranteed, to pass a stop-gap spending bill to allow the negotiators time to finalize the omnibus spending package.
Sen. Richard Shelby (Ala.), the GOP's lead negotiator, said that "if all goes well, we should be able to finish an omnibus appropriations package by Dec. 23," the deadline set by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). House Appropriations Chair Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) said appropriators will now "work around the clock to negotiate the details of final 2023 spending bills that can be supported by the House and Senate and receive President Biden's signature."
Appropriators have "largely settled on an $858 billion defense budget in recent weeks, which amounts to a 10 percent boost over current defense funding levels," Politico reports, but the two sides were still recently billions of dollars apart on domestic spending. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said earlier Tuesday that the must-pass spending bill will include money for Ukraine and a revamp of the Electoral Count Act that passed out of subcommittee with wide bipartisan support.
With such tight deadlines, a handful of senators could gum up the works and force a government shutdown. And House Republican leaders and some hard-right members are pushing to shut down the government until the GOP takes control of the lower chamber in January. "That would give House Republicans more leverage over what's in the legislation," The Associated Press reports. Democrats warn that if no omnibus deal is reached, the government may have to be funded at current levels for fiscal 2023, leaving the GOP-sought Pentagon budget hikes on the cutting-room floor.