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House and Senate Have Until January 19 to Finalize Fiscal Year 2024 Appropriations

December 18, 2023

Congress is much closer to finalizing the fiscal year (FY) 2024 appropriations than the last blog posted on the topic in July, but they still have a ways to go.

Top-Line Spending Levels and Other Funding Issues Still Being Negotiated

U.S. House of Representatives and Senate leadership are negotiating a top-line spending level through the end of the year. Negotiations continue on individual funding bills regarding both spending levels and policy riders.

Drafting the text of the negotiated measures and securing both House and Senate passage will be a challenge. Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R-LA) has said that he will not support another short-term continuing resolution (CR). Instead, he has suggested moving to a full-year CR. Senate Appropriations Chair Patty Murray (D-WA) objected to this proposal.

The House has recessed without taking further action on any appropriations bills. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) announced on Thursday, December 14, that the Senate will resume session on Monday, December 18. This time gives negotiators from the White House and Senate Democrats Republicans time to work through the weekend to reach a framework agreement on the supplemental appropriation bill to provide funding for Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan, and the U.S. border.

Looking ahead to 2024, the Senate is scheduled to return to session on January 8, and the House on January 9. When the two bodies return, they will have about 10 days to complete action on the following appropriations bills before the current CR expires on January 19:

  • Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and Related Agencies
  • Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies
  • Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies
  • Energy and Water Development

Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), the ranking Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee, believes meeting the January 19 deadline will be difficult even if there is a deal on a government funding framework by the end of the year.

DeLauro has stressed how dire the cuts will be to the budgets of the agencies that the nondefense health, environment, and food safety communities advocate for. These agencies include the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), as well as other agencies that do not count as part of the U.S. Department of Defense budget and a few other exempt programs. Her message was that we all need to stress to our House members, but especially the Republican ones, that they need to pass all 12 bill appropriations as a full-year continuing resolution CR would result in radical cuts to every non-Defense Department agency. The House has only 8 days when they return from the holidays to work through those bills. If interested, you can read more details in this CRS report.

Our members should reach out to their House members to explain how cuts to CDC, FDA, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture will impact our ability to protect the health of the communities we serve. We encourage you to share information on the lives saved from environmental health policies and the important programs and efforts you support within your jurisdictions.

For more information, contact Government Affairs Director Doug Farquhar.