Congress this week passed a Continuing Resolution (CR) funding the government at least through March 1 as negotiations on individual appropriations bills continue.

Congressional leaders last week announced an agreement on top-line government funding allocations. Current funding expires in two phases: Congress in November passed a two-part CR that extends funding for Agriculture-FDA, Military Construction-VA, Transportation-Housing and Urban Development, and Energy and Water through January 19. Based on the CR passed this week, those bills now expire on March 1.

Separately, the other eight appropriations bills – Commerce-Justice-Science, Defense, Financial Services, Homeland Security, Interior-Environment, Labor-HHS-Education, Legislative Branch, and State and Foreign Operations – were previously set to expire on February 2. Based on the CR passed this week, those bills now expire on March 8.

The House had passed seven of its 12 individual appropriations bills, while the Senate has passed just three that were packaged into a “minibus.”

Most of the bills the House has passed have set spending levels below that of the debt limit and spending deal agreed to by Congress and the White House earlier last year.

The top-line funding agreement announced last week indicated Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) have accepted overall spending levels closer to those found in the Senate versions of each appropriations bill than the House-passed versions, but House appropriators will request that individual provisions should be included to satisfy their policy priorities while giving Senators the top-line funding numbers they originally requested.

Members of the House Freedom Caucus have repeatedly requested that the House pass its appropriations bills individually, not packaging them into one larger package known as an “omnibus.” Congressional leaders have not indicated how they plan to move forward, whether with votes on each bill or to package them together in an omnibus, despite the passage of the CR this week.

In addition to support from Speaker Johnson and Majority Leader Schumer, House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) and President Biden have also publicly supported the top-line funding levels agreed to last week.

Appropriations Committee leaders from each chamber are still working to reconcile differences between the House and Senate versions of each bill within the overall funding levels set by the agreement but need more time to fully craft all of the bills and schedule floor time for passage. A short-term CR was deemed necessary.