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Lawmakers, White House announce budget deal to keep government open

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Congressional leadership and the White House announced Tuesday a deal had been reached to fund the Department of Homeland Security, the last piece needed to complete the budget before a government shutdown scheduled for this weekend.

Lawmakers agreed on the other half of the budget last week. If leadership can get the votes, this will mark the first time a full budget, and not a stopgap funding measure, has been passed since House Speaker Nancy Pelosi stepped down from the speakership.

“An agreement has been reached for DHS appropriations, which will allow completion of the FY24 appropriations process,” House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., said in a statement. “House and Senate committees have begun drafting bill text to be prepared for release and consideration by the full House and Senate as soon as possible.”

Lawmakers in the House and Senate now need to vote on the legislation and get Biden’s signature by Friday. Most members of both parties, with a few exceptions, have been keen to avoid a shutdown.

Big stumbling blocks in the negotiations have been funding for Ukraine and the southern border, two controversial issues dividing the parties and setting the stage for this election year. During his State of the Union address, Biden addressed both topics and called on Congress to act.

The announcement of a deal Tuesday did not include details.

The White House released a statement Tuesday indicating it had already signed off on the deal, meaning it will likely speed into law unless any controversial measures can rally a defiant contingent.

“We have come to an agreement with Congressional leaders on a path forward for the remaining full-year funding bills,” Biden said in a statement. “The House and Senate are now working to finalize a package that can quickly be brought to the floor, and I will sign it immediately.”

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., echoed that sentiment and the need to move quickly.

“Senate and House leaders and the White House have reached an agreement to finish the final set of full year appropriations bills,” Schumer wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter. “The Senate and House Appropriations Committees are in the process of finalizing text and reports for Congress to closely review and consider ASAP.”