Congress has only four weeks until its next partial government shutdown deadline, but this week is the only time both chambers are scheduled to be in session simultaneously for the rest of February.
The latest federal budget extension runs out on March 1. If lawmakers can’t negotiate another short-term spending deal or a full-year budget agreement by then, parts of the Departments of Veterans Affairs, Housing and Urban Development, Agriculture and Energy would be forced to halt operations due to a lack of funding.
The Senate is scheduled to break for two weeks starting Feb. 10, although leaders could recall members sooner if needed for budget votes. House members are scheduled to be in town through Feb. 16 but then on their own two-week recess until March 4.
In the two weeks since the last federal budget extension agreement adopted by Congress, leaders of both chambers have reported little progress in negotiations on a full-year budget plan. The government’s fiscal year began on Oct. 1, meaning that agencies have been operating under fiscal 2023 spending level restrictions for the last four months.
Leo covers Congress, Veterans Affairs and the White House for Military Times. He has covered Washington, D.C. since 2004, focusing on military personnel and veterans policies. His work has earned numerous honors, including a 2009 Polk award, a 2010 National Headliner Award, the IAVA Leadership in Journalism award and the VFW News Media award.