Can Congress avoid a government shutdown in 2024? Lawmakers announce agreement, but it's not a done deal

Congressional leaders have come to a funding agreement to try to avoid a government shutdown that would hurt millions of Americans.

Lawmakers reached a $1.66 trillion spending agreement to keep the government's doors open in 2024, including $886.3 billion in defense spending and $772.7 billion in domestic, non-defense spending. It's in line with a deal President Joe Biden and former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., made last year during tense debt ceiling negotiations.

But Congress and the country aren’t out of the woods yet. The full House and Senate still have to pass the agreement and send it to Biden’s desk before a government shutdown sets in for the nation.

Funding for federal transportation programs, housing and food plans and other resources are still set to expire on Jan. 19. The deadline for the Departments of Health and Human Services, Commerce, Labor, State and Defense comes two weeks later on Feb. 2.

A government shutdown means all officials and federal agencies that aren't deemed “essential” have to stop their work. Thousands of federal employees would be furloughed, and it could hit nutrition benefits and other programs Americans rely on, even if they don't work for the federal government.

Johnson passed the latest funding extension to avoid a government shutdown in November with more Democratic votes than Republican ones. He faces the possibility of conservative rebels in the House ordering additional cuts before they’ll support a deal, demands they made during spending battles last year.

Johnson acknowledged in a letter to House lawmakers that the agreements “will not satisfy everyone, and they do not cut as much spending as many of us would like." But he still called the deal between lawmakers "the most favorable budget agreement Republicans have achieved in over a decade."

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. and House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., on Sunday said the funding agreement "clears the way for Congress to act over the next few weeks in order to maintain important funding priorities for the American people and avoid a government shutdown."

Biden in a statement on Sunday said the framework "moves us one step closer to preventing a needless government shutdown and protecting important national priorities." But he still warned that "congressional Republicans must do their job, stop threatening to shut down the government, and fulfill their basic responsibility."

A handful of Republican lawmakers voted with Democrats to oust former McCarthy after he reached across the aisle to avoid a government shutdown in September.

Contributing: Sudiksha Kochi, USA TODAY

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Government shutdown 2024: Lawmakers announce potential bipartisan deal