President Biden Signs 1.7B Bill Avoiding Govt. Shutdown

by John Endean

January 25, 2024 at 9:45PM EST


To ABC Members and Friends:

Earlier today (January 19) President Biden signed the ‘‘Further Additional Continuing Appropriations and Other Extensions Act,  2024.’’  This act extends government funding, which was due to expire today, for four Appropriations categories.  The funding will expire on March 1.  The categories are:

  • Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies;
  • Energy and Water Development;
  • Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies; and,
  • Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies.

A second group of eight appropriations categories are set to expire on March 8.  They are:

  • Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies;
  • Defense;
  • Financial Services and General Government;
  • Homeland Security;
  • Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies;
  • Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies;
  • Legislative Branch; and,
  • State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs

It had been the announced intention of Speaker of the House Mike Johnson to avoid the sort of continuing resolution just signed by the President.  He preferred to fund by today the four appropriations categories with four separate appropriations bills.

With that accomplished, he then hoped Congress would move on to passing the eight other appropriations bills by March 8.  Having already missed the January 19 deadline, it is hard to see how Congress, in its current state of partisan disarray, will meet those legislative goals by March.  While some appropriations bills may pass, my guess is that some part of the government will be running on a continuing resolution until the end of this fiscal year on September 30.

In the meantime, there is ongoing discussion about legislation that would extend additional aid to Ukraine and impose greater security on our southern border.  It may be tough sledding getting anything passed.

Many Hill Republicans, including the House leadership and Senators formerly opposed to Trump (and insulted by him) such as Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and Tim Scott, have announced, or are about to announce, their support for the former President.  Trump controls the GOP, and his soldiers on the Hill are ready to take their marching orders.

Trump, of course, has no incentive to see Ukraine aid and border reform passed this year.  His “strong man” view of foreign affairs, including admiration for Putin, combined with his specific belief that support for Ukraine somehow is a Hunter Biden caper, mean that he is prepared to hang that country out to dry.

As for border reform, stirring up fears that immigrants are “poisoning the blood of our country” is exactly in his political wheelhouse.  Obviously, he would prefer that nothing be done on border control prior to the election.