IRS Spared As House Passes Temporary Funding Bill


That collective sigh you just heard? Despite weeks of posturing, the House passed legislation to keep the federal government’s lights on. The bill now moves to the Senate, days ahead of the deadline.

If it feels like deja vu all over again, you’re not wrong. Earlier this year, there were worries that the government would run out of money for the next fiscal year. The deadline at that time was Sept. 30, and without a compromise, the government would have shut down, meaning that all nonessential government functions would have stopped. However, a last-minute bill kicked the can down the road for another 90 days—that bill, framed as a continuing resolution, passed the House with a vote of 335-91.

Some on the Hill changed their vote for the latest short-term bill. The most recent count was 336-95, with ninety-three Republicans and two Democrats voting no—but that was enough. The bill was passed under a suspension of the rules, which means that only a two-thirds vote was required.

The House bill extends funding for government services at current spending levels. That means there were no spending cuts, including those targeted to the IRS. Earlier this year, House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) introduced a supplemental appropriations package that would provide $14.3 billion in military assistance to Israel in exchange for slashing an equal amount of IRS funding.

The extensions are only temporary. Specifically, funds for military and veterans programs, agriculture and food agencies, as well the Departments of Transportation and Housing and Urban Development will now run out on Jan. 19, 2024. Money for the Department of State, as well as the Departments of Defense, Commerce, Labor, and Health and Human Services, will now run out on Feb. 2, 2024, unless additional measures pass.

The bill does not include funding for Israel and Ukraine, or money to shore up border security. Those issues—especially with the upcoming elections—were considered too charged to be considered in the current political climate. However, they will likely be significant discussion points next year.

With a few days to spare until the Nov. 17 deadline, the measure now moves to the Senate, where it is expected to pass. If it does, the White House has signaled that President Biden will sign the bill into law.

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