Headline RoundupFebruary 23rd, 2024

Congress on Recess Ahead of March 1 Partial Shutdown Deadline

Summary from the AllSides News Team

Congress has just one more week to reach a funding deal before parts of the government shut down. The House does not return from recess until Wednesday. 

The Details: If Congress does not reach a deal on 20% of annual appropriations for the current fiscal year before March 1, parts of the federal government will shut down. The full government shutdown deadline is a week later, on March 8. The Senate will return from recess on Monday.

Key Quotes: As with the last few shutdown scares, holdouts from the conservative House Freedom Caucus are calling for either extensive spending cuts and policy changes or a one-year continuing resolution that would be subject to automatic cuts, arguing it would “save Americans $100 billion in year one.” Either way, such a plan would need to get past a Democrat-controlled Senate. A “worried” GOP Senate aide told The Hill (Center bias) that “the chances of a shutdown are the highest we’ve had this fiscal year.” Thanks to lawmakers working through the recess, however, The Hill also reported that “A deal is expected to be released as early as Sunday.”

How the Media Covered It: Coverage often appeared pessimistic across the spectrum; a Washington Times (Lean Right bias) analysis said government spending bills were “too big for lawmakers to handle,” Roll Call (Center bias) called the issue a “tall order,” and Axios (Lean Left bias) quoted an unnamed GOP lawmaker who said, “People are predicting a shutdown even if it's just for a few days.”

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