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Despite funding deal, hurdles remain for avoiding brief shutdown

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Speaker Mike Johnson and the White House locked in a deal on full-year funding for the Department of Homeland Security on Monday, our Caitlin Emma and Jennifer Scholtes reported, clinching the final piece of the funding puzzle.

But as the weekend deadline on government funding approaches, a (brief) shutdown may still be in the cards. Here’s why:

These things always take time. Negotiators and staff must turn that agreement into legislative text, a process that inevitably takes some time.

The 72-hour-rule: Johnson has promised members at least 72 hours to read and review legislation. Depending on when text eventually emerges, that could carry us into the weekend and a short shutdown. The speaker might always try to waive this rule, potentially provoking a rebellion from his far-right flank (who are already out in opposition).

The Senate factor: Assuming the package does eventually pass the House, the rules of the Senate mean any one senator can slow down consideration. Leaders have been able to reach agreements on prior packages of amendment votes to placate conservatives displeased with the funding bills, but we’ll see if one materializes here.

Could it go faster? Passage of these funding bills may be the last thing standing in the way of both chambers from a scheduled two-week recess. In March Madness terms, Jet Fumes are a No. 1 seed that usually wins.

What’s in this hefty package? Six bills — Homeland Security, Defense, Financial Services-General Government Labor-HHS, Legislative Branch and State-Foreign Operations — that collectively fund about 70 percent of the federal government.

Meanwhile: Both chambers return to Washington on Tuesday as they await text of the funding package. The Senate will vote on the confirmation Nicole Berner to a spot on the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. House lawmakers will vote on suspensions at 6:30 p.m., including a bipartisan effort to modernize the process of getting your passport.

Also, for your radar: The House Rules Committee meets at 4 p.m. to tee up consideration of several pieces of energy legislation. The House Foreign Affairs Committee will hear testimony at 1 p.m. from two former generals — Mark Milley and Kenneth “Frank” McKenzie — on the Biden administration’s withdrawal from Afghanistan.