US congressional leaders agree on stopgap funding bill -source

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -U.S. congressional leaders have agreed on a two-tranche stopgap spending bill to keep the federal government funded into March and avert a partial government shutdown starting late next week, a source familiar with the measure told Reuters on Saturday.

Politico, CNN and Punchbowl first reported that congressional leaders had agreed on what is called a “continuing resolution” or “CR,” that would fund the government – extending two deadlines through March 1 and March 8.

A spokesperson for the Senate’s Democratic majority leader, Chuck Schumer, said a text of the spending deal is expected to be posted online on Sunday. A second source, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters the earlier reports were accurate.

Funding expires on Jan. 19 for some federal agencies, including the Department of Transportation, while others like the Defense Department face a Feb. 2 deadline.

The top Democrat and Republican in Congress reached a $1.59 trillion deal on Jan. 7 to fund the government through the current fiscal year, but if they fail to pass it by Jan. 19, parts of the federal government would begin to shut down.

Some lawmakers have said a short-term funding bill was needed to allow bipartisan negotiators from the House and Senate time to agree on full-year fiscal 2024 spending bills and for Congress to enact the legislation.

On Thursday, Schumer took the first procedural step to pass a stopgap funding bill through the Senate early next week to give lawmakers more time to pass the full-year bill.

The U.S. came close to a partial government shutdown last autumn amid opposition by the hardline House Republicans who ousted former Speaker Kevin McCarthy over reaching a bipartisan stopgap spending deal with Schumer.

(Reporting by Michael Martina and Patricia Zengerle in Washington and Ismail Shakil in Ottawa; editing by Diane Craft, Will Dunham and Marguerita Choy)