Congress Marches Towards Spring Finale for FY24 Appropriations

Rep. Mike Johnson (R-La.) is seen before a vote for Speaker in the House Chamber on Wednesday, October 25, 2023.

In mid-January, Congress passed a third Continuing Resolution (CR) to prevent a partial government shutdown. The new CR extended government funding into March, once again staggering the funding deadlines to two different dates – March 1 and March 8.

Although Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) had previously expressed that he would not support another CR, this short-term legislation proved to be necessary to give the appropriators time to develop bills at the new FY24 spending level agreed upon between Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Speaker Johnson.

Earlier in January, Speaker Johnson and Leader Schumer agreed to a top-line spending number of approximately $1.7 trillion, which operates under the Fiscal Responsibility Act caps, along with an additional $70 billion in funds from President Biden and then-Speaker McCarthy’s side deal. Although hardline conservatives have pressured Speaker Johnson to abandon the deal and fight for further cuts, the Speaker has refused to rescind it. More information is available here.

The House has added three voting days to its congressional calendar in February to allow sufficient time to pass the FY24 spending bills before the new early March deadlines. Negotiations behind the scenes regarding the top-line spending levels for each appropriations bill are ongoing. Looking beyond the appropriations funding level negotiations, some House Republicans have vowed to attach conservative policy wish-list items to the FY24 bills, a process known as adding policy riders. As these will be a non-starter for the Democrat-controlled Senate, it is unlikely any so-called “poison pills” will make it into the final appropriations bills.

Ultimately, appropriators remain hopeful that they can wrap up FY24 by the start of March to allow them to start on FY25 this spring. 

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Questions? Contact COE Vice President for Public Policy Diane Shust.

Diane Shust

Vice President, Public Policy [email protected]

Owen Toomey

Director, Congressional Affairs [email protected]

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