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REPORT: Lawmakers Reach ‘Agreement in Principle’ on Homeland Security Funding, Would Avert Shutdown

Congressional leaders have reached a deal on Homeland Security funding, according to multiple reports Monday night. Details of the bill have not been released, and sources describe it as an “agreement in principle,” but if it holds it would avert a partial government shutdown before Friday’s funding deadline.

Congressional leaders have struck a deal to fund the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) through the remainder of fiscal year 2024, a source familiar with the matter confirmed to The Hill, closing out the six bills due by Friday’s shutdown deadline.
Negotiators are still working out the details and legislative text of the DHS agreement, the source said, but the DHS legislation will be a full-year bill and not a stopgap, which lawmakers were eyeing over the weekend.

There’s a lot of scrambling going on as Democrats and Republicans have to come to terms on a host of spending measures:

Funding is set to expire Saturday morning for the departments of State, Defense, Homeland Security, Labor and Health and Human Services and a host of other agencies. The other five funding bills were effectively settled by the end of last week, with only the Homeland Security bill presenting deep divisions Republicans and Democrats were unable to settle.
Heading into the weekend, negotiators were poised to release a package that includes the five other funding bills and would fund DHS separately on an extended stopgap basis, largely continuing the status quo, before reviving attempts to negotiate a full-year funding bill for the department through the end of September.

House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA), Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and the White House are all involved in the negotiations, along with other leading lawmakers. 

Johnson, however, is facing blowback from the Freedom Caucus, who are demanding tougher border provisions.

On Monday afternoon, two leaders of the hard-right Freedom Caucus, Reps. Bob Good, R-Va., and Chip Roy, R-Texas, issued a letter from 41 Republicans demanding that any DHS funding bill include “the core elements of H.R. 2, the Secure the Border Act,” or President Joe Biden’s immigration policies won’t change, they said.
“Therefore, we ask you to join us in rejecting the appropriations package (or anything similar) slated to be before the House that will directly fund these disastrous policies, and choose instead to stand against this assault on the American people,” they wrote.

Sausage-making is no fun to watch, and budget negotiations can get Byzantine as both sides try to use brinkmanship and the threat of a shutdown to their advantage. While Bob Good and Chip Roy’s displeasure with the ongoing negotiations probably wouldn’t be enough to tank the reported deal, they can make life unpleasant for Johnson down the line.

We’ll see if this agreement holds or if we’re headed into shutdown territory this weekend. It would be nice to think that lawmakers have been able to negotiate policies that will actually strengthen our border security, but since the GOP has only a slim majority in the House and is in the minority in the Senate, I’m not holding my breath. 


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