WASHINGTON — The House on Thursday is poised to pass a short-term funding bill to avert a partial government shutdown this weekend and buy Congress more time to fund the government.

Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., had faced criticism from rank-and-file conservatives that they had been kept in the dark about a bipartisan spending deal announced Wednesday that includes six of the 12 spending bills that fund federal agencies.

But addressing reporters at his weekly news conference, Johnson argued that the bipartisan agreement reached this week allows Congress to fund the government by passing individual bills rather than one massive, catch-all spending package, known as an omnibus.

“The appropriations process is ugly, democracy is ugly. This is the way it works every year, always has. Except that we instituted some innovations; we broke the omnibus fever,” Johnson said Thursday.

“We’re trying to turn the aircraft carrier back to real budgeting and spending reform,” he said. “This was an important thing — to break it up into smaller pieces.”

After the short-term bill clears the House, the Senate must pass it before money runs out Friday night in order to prevent a shutdown. It will require support of all 100 senators to vote quickly.

“Once the House acts, I hope the Senate can pass the short-term CR as soon as tonight, but that will require all of us working together,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said Thursday. “There’s certainly no reason this should take a very long time, so let’s cooperate and get it done quickly.”

The stopgap measure, known as a continuing resolution or CR, is part of a bipartisan deal struck by the top congressional leaders and appropriators on Wednesday. The CR would extend the funding deadline for half of the dozen must-pass spending bills by one week, to March 8.

The funding deadline for the remaining six bills would be pushed back by two weeks, to March 22. Leaders say that should give Congress enough time to pass all of the spending bills for the fiscal year that ends on Sept. 30.

The White House has endorsed the bipartisan deal.

The agreement “would help prevent a needless shutdown while providing more time to work on bipartisan appropriations bills and for the House to pass the bipartisan national security supplemental as quickly as possible,” said White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre.

Negotiations have been completed on the first six bills — funding departments such as Agriculture, Commerce, Energy, Interior, Justice, Transportation and Veterans Affairs. Those bills will be voted on next week, leaders said.

Johnson said passing the fiscal 2024 bills will allow Congress to quickly begin work negotiating the next round of appropriation bills for the new fiscal year that begins on Oct. 1.

Neither the short-term bill nor the government funding deals include any military assistance or aid to Israel, Taiwan and Ukraine, the latter of which Johnson continues to resist. He has indicated that foreign aid will be tackled separately, without committing to allowing a vote on the Ukraine funding.

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