Congressional leaders readies stopgap bill as shutdown looms

Washington: Congressional leaders are preparing a stopgap bill to keep the federal government running into March and avoid a partial shutdown next week.

The temporary measure will run to March 1 for some federal agencies whose approved funds are set to run out Friday and extend the remainder of government operations to March 8. That’s according to a person familiar with the situation and granted anonymity to discuss it.

The stopgap bill, expected to be released Sunday, would come as House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., has been under pressure from his hard-right flank in recent days to jettison a recent bipartisan spending deal with Senate Democrats. The bill would need Democratic support to pass the narrowly divided House.

Johnson insisted last Friday that he is sticking with the deal he struck with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., despite pressure from some conservatives to renegotiate. Moderates in the party had urged him to stay the course.

Still, in his first big test as the new leader, he has yet to show how he will quell the revolt from his right flank that ousted his predecessor.

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