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Upcoming congressional breaks could endanger budget deal talks

Congress has only four weeks until its next partial government shutdown deadline, but this week is the only time both chambers are scheduled to be in session simultaneously for the rest of February.

The latest federal budget extension runs out on March 1. If lawmakers can’t negotiate another short-term spending deal or a full-year budget agreement by then, parts of the Departments of Veterans Affairs, Housing and Urban Development, Agriculture and Energy would be forced to halt operations due to a lack of funding.

The Senate is scheduled to break for two weeks starting Feb. 10, although leaders could recall members sooner if needed for budget votes. House members are scheduled to be in town through Feb. 16 but then on their own two-week recess until March 4.

In the two weeks since the last federal budget extension agreement adopted by Congress, leaders of both chambers have reported little progress in negotiations on a full-year budget plan. The government’s fiscal year began on Oct. 1, meaning that agencies have been operating under fiscal 2023 spending level restrictions for the last four months.

Tuesday, Feb. 6

House Foreign Affairs — 10 a.m. — Capitol H-210
Pending Legislation
The committee will consider several pending bills.

House Judiciary — 10 a.m. — 2141 Rayburn
Government agencies
Committee members will discuss concerns about the weaponization of federal agencies for political purposes.

House Transportation — 10 a.m. — 2167 Rayburn
FAA operations
Michael Whitaker, administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration, will testify on current operations and challenges.

House Homeland Security — 10 a.m. — 310 Cannon
Water Systems Security
Outside experts will testify on infrastructure protections for public water systems.

House Armed Services — 2 p.m. — 2212 Rayburn
Member Proposals
Lawmakers will offer proposals to the committee for possible military quality of life fixes.

Senate Homeland Security — 3:30 p.m. — 562 Dirksen
Foreign Influence
Outside experts will testify on foreign business influence in the United States.

Wednesday, Feb. 7

House Armed Services — 9 a.m. — 2212 Rayburn
Military Housing
Service installation officials will testify on problems with military barracks and potential future solutions.

House Foreign Affairs — 11 a.m. — Rayburn 2200
Venezuelan opposition candidate María Corina Machado will testify before the committee on election issues in that country.

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