Look Ahead September 18, 2023

Look Ahead to the Week of September 18: McCarthy Makes Opening Continuing Resolution Attempt

Both the House and Senate will be in session this week.

Over the weekend, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) released a stopgap spending bill to fund the government through October 31, including an 8% cut to nondefense programs and a resumption of border wall construction. The bill doesn’t contain emergency Ukraine war funds or disaster aid. Democrats and the Biden Administration quickly dismissed the offer. Moreover, conservative Freedom Caucus members also opposed McCarthy’s bill, calling it a “167 page surrender to Joe Biden.” The GOP leadership hopes to vote on the bill later this week. They are also working to bring back to the floor their defense appropriations bill, which was delayed last week due to disagreements within the conference. 

If Congress is not able to pass a stopgap measure before federal funding expires on September 30, a government shutdown will begin. This outcome is becoming increasingly likely as the Freedom Caucus has shown no interest in negotiating.

Meanwhile, the Senate will continue its work on a three-bill funding package covering Agriculture-FDA, Military Construction-VA, and Transportation-HUD appropriations for fiscal year 2024. Debate on this effort hit a speedbump in the upper chamber last week as some members of the Republican conference expressed concerns about moving joint appropriations bills. It remains to be seen how the Senate will resolve this opposition. Additionally, those funding bills, and the remaining spending packages, face an uncertain future in the House. The House has moved forward with its versions of the appropriations bills solely along partisan lines, using topline spending figures $58 billion below the limits agreed to as part of the debt ceiling deal.

Lawmakers must also make progress on the Federal Aviation Administration’s reauthorization legislation and the Farm Bill, which are set to expire on September 30, and almost certainly won’t be ready by then, requiring an extension of current policies for those programs.


On Tuesday, President Biden will speak at the U.N. General Assembly in New York City. He will also sit down with Secretary-General António Guterres. Separately, Biden plans to hold bilateral meetings with both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. Later in the week, Biden will host Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at the White House. Zelensky also plans to meet with lawmakers in Congress in an effort to maintain continued support for providing aid to Ukraine. 

House Side

On Monday, the House will meet to consider multiple bills under suspension.

  • Bills expected under suspension of the rules.
    • H.R. 3981 – Isakson-Roe Education Oversight Expansion Act (Rep. McGarvey – Veterans’ Affairs). The measure would require higher education and training institutions that are authorized to accept educational benefits from the Veterans Affairs Department to self-report certain adverse events.
    • H.R. 1530 – Veterans Benefits Improvement Act of 2023 (Rep. Luttrell – Veterans’ Affairs). The bill would require the VA to provide benefits for law school graduates who agree to work for the department, and permanently increase the number of judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. 
    • S. 112 – To amend title 38, United States Code, to strengthen benefits for children of Vietnam veterans born with spina bifida, and for other purposes (Sen. Braun – Veterans’ Affairs).
    • S. 475 – To designate the clinic of the Department of Veterans Affairs in Gallup, New Mexico, as the Hiroshi “Hershey” Miyamura Veterans Affairs Clinic (Sen. Heinrich – Veterans’ Affairs).
    • H.R. 3371 – Wounded Knee Massacre Memorial and Sacred Site Act (Rep. Dusty Johnson – Natural Resources). The bill would require the Interior Department to place approximately 40 acres of land owned by the Oglala Sioux and Cheyenne River Sioux tribes in “restricted fee” status solely for the purposes of a memorial and sacred site. 
    • H.R. 2872 – To amend the Permanent Electronic Duck Stamp Act of 2013 to allow states to issue electronic stamps under the Act, and for other purposes (Rep. Garret Graves – Natural Resources).
    • H.R. 663 – Native American Child Protection Act, as amended (Rep. Gallego – Natural Resources). The measure would reauthorize and revise programs to investigate and prosecute child abuse, child neglect, and family violence incidents involving Native American children.
    • H.R. 5378 – Lower Costs, More Transparency Act, as amended (Rep. Rodgers – Energy and Commerce). The measure would make changes to pharmacy benefit managers’ pricing practices. The bill would also extend several expiring health programs and require additional price reporting from health care providers and insurers. 

Tuesday – Thursday, the House is scheduled to meet for legislative business.

  • Bills expected under a rule.
    • H.Res. 684 – Condemning New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham for subverting the Second Amendment to the Constitution to deprive the citizens of New Mexico of their right to bear arms (Rep. Newhouse – Judiciary).
    • H.R. 1130 – Unlocking our Domestic LNG Potential Act of 2023 (Rep. Bill Johnson – Energy and Commerce). The measure would repeal restrictions on the import and export of liquefied natural gas. It would also remove the requirement for the Energy Department to determine whether an import or export of natural gas to a country without a free trade agreement with the United States is in the public interest before authorizing trade.

Senate Side

On Monday, the Senate will resume consideration of Vernon Oliver’s nomination to be a U.S. district judge for the District of Connecticut. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) will also continue efforts to move forward with the Agriculture-FDA, Military Construction-VA, and Transportation-HUD spending package, which was stalled last week due to limited Republican opposition. 

Media Contact
Alex Wolfe
Communications Director

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