Congress Eyes Short-Term CR as Budget Deadline Looms

The current “laddered” or two-step Continuing Resolution may remain the status quo as Congress struggles to complete a funding package before the first of two budget deadlines hit on Friday, January 19th. This new stopgap plan would extend funding into March and is supported by Speaker Mike Johnson. Johnson has struggled to wrangle the House Republican Conference and faced backlash from them as he has worked with Senate Democrats on a deal. This new budget package will closely follow the framework agreed to by former Speaker Kevin McCarthy and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer in 2023. The CR was advanced by the Senate on Tuesday and must be passed by the House and signed by President Biden by Friday to stave off a government shutdown. 

Top legislators in the House and Senate announced this week that a deal has been reached to expand the child tax credit and extend tax breaks for businesses. Congressional Democrats have been calling for the enhancement of refundable child tax credits since a Covid-era deal to reduce child poverty ended after a single year. Lawmakers expressed hope of passing the $80 billion package by the end of January, which will allow for implementation before the tax filing deadline of April 15th.

At the state level, a reminder that the House and Senate will convene on Tuesday, February 6th for Governor Shapiro’s 2024-25 budget address. After several weeks of Appropriations hearings with various state agencies, the legislature will then return to session in mid-March.