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Government shutdown likely averted as Congress reaches spending deal

Drew Angerer / Getty
Andrew Prokop is a senior politics correspondent at Vox, covering the White House, elections, and political scandals and investigations. He’s worked at Vox since the site’s launch in 2014, and before that, he worked as a research assistant at the New Yorker’s Washington, DC, bureau.

  1. Tuesday night, Congressional negotiators reached agreement on a deal to fund most of the government through September 2015, and avert a shutdown.
  2. The major exception is the Department of Homeland Security, which will only be funded through February 27, so the new Republican Congress can protest Obama's immigration executive action.
  3. The deal includes several concessions to Republican policy priorities, including a provision banning funding for DC's planned marijuana legalization.
  4. Congress will vote on the deal later this week, though a temporary measure to extend government funding for a few more days may still be necessary.

What's in the deal?

House and Senate negotiators have agreed on a bipartisan compromise to extend funding for almost all of the government until the fall of 2015 — check out the full bill here. Overall, the deal keeps the level of domestic spending basically the same.

Some conservatives have argued that various proposals didn't do enough to push back against Obama for his executive action on immigration. Reflecting those concerns, the Department of Homeland Security's funding will be extended only through the end of February. This sets the stage for a funding debate that will focus on the agency and issues related to it, particularly immigration, early in the new fully-Republican-controlled Congress.

The bill contains several policy provisions. Politico's David Rogers writes that parts of it benefit "trucking, mining, and securities interests." Funding for marijuana legalization in DC is blocked, and campaign finance restrictions are loosened (allowing donors to give more to a party if the money is used for a convention, recount, or building expense).

Now, the bill just has to win passage through both houses of Congress. Speaker John Boehner reportedly plans a vote on Thursday — the day the current government funding expires. So a stopgap bill to maintain funding for a few days might be necessary, Rebecca Shabad of The Hill reports.

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