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Dozen funding totals struck as Congress races to avert another shutdown cliff

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Top appropriators have reached a deal on the totals for a dozen spending bills, clearing a critical hurdle toward securing a broader government funding agreement before federal cash expires for a swath of agencies in less than five weeks.

Senate Appropriations Chair Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and House Appropriations Chair Kay Granger (R-Texas) reached the deal late Friday night, according to two sources familiar with talks. Both sides aren’t releasing the numbers for the 12 funding bills, which will provide federal agencies with updated budgets for the current fiscal year.

Key context: The deal, which came together after weeks of tough negotiations, follows the announcement of a government funding framework hashed out by staff for Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Speaker Mike Johnson. It will allow lawmakers to hash out the finer policy and funding points of each individual bill. Appropriators have been anxious to get their hands on the figures, acknowledging that time is short to finalize a government funding accord that will top $1.7 trillion.

Government funding for veterans, transportation, agriculture and energy programs runs out March 1. Funding for the rest of the government, including the military and the biggest domestic programs, expires March 8.