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Congress Reaches Short-term Funding Agreement

January 19, 2024

Federal lawmakers have reached a short-term deal to prevent a government shutdown through early March.

With a deadline approaching, lawmakers yesterday approved a stopgap measure by a 77–18 vote in the Senate and a 314–108 vote in the House.

Without action, certain government departments (military construction, veterans’ affairs, transportation, housing, and the energy department) would have shut down on Saturday, with the rest of the government funding expiring February 2. The new deal extends those deadlines to March 1 and March 8, respectively. President Biden signed the two-step continuing resolution today.

For health care

The stopgap bill includes an extension preventing the Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) program cuts from taking effect through March 8. Funding for teaching health centers with the Graduate Medical Education program also was extended through March 8.

The bill did not address other outstanding items for the health care community, such as a site-neutral payment policy for physician administered Medicare Part B drugs.

Up next

This is the third time that Congress has opted for a short-term extension over finalizing a full spending bill after lawmakers failed to reach an agreement ahead of deadlines in September and November.

Leaders in Congress have said they would have preferred to finalize a deal that would have funded the government through the fiscal year, but the negotiations were not completed ahead of this week’s deadline.

Ahead of the next round of appropriations discussions, HAP will continue to advocate Congress to avert harmful DSH cuts while highlighting the ways site-neutral payment policies threaten access to care.

For questions, contact John Myers, vice president, federal advocacy.