Both the House and Senate will be in session this week.
Last week, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) failed to pass a temporary stopgap spending bill. Some members of the conservative Freedom Caucus members opposed the measure, claiming it did meet enough of their demands. McCarthy and his team are now drafting a new 14- to 60-day stopgap bill that would cut domestic spending temporarily by 27%, compared to the 8% proposed in last week’s bill. The bill would also include a House immigration and border security bill and set up a debt commission to study entitlement cuts. The bill doesn’t contain emergency Ukraine war funds or disaster aid. It is very unlikely the Senate Democrats would support such a package.
If Congress can’t pass a stopgap measure before federal funding expires on September 30, a government shutdown will begin. This outcome is becoming increasingly likely as members of the Freedom Caucus expressed no interest in negotiating. Meanwhile, the Senate is hoping to introduce its own bipartisan stopgap spending bill on Tuesday.
The House will also consider four of the 12 stand-alone fiscal year 2024 funding bills — Agriculture-FDA, State-Foreign Operations, Homeland Security, and Defense – later this week. However, those bills won’t be enacted before government spending expires at the end of the month.
Lawmakers must also make progress on the Federal Aviation Administration’s reauthorization legislation and the Farm Bill, which almost certainly won’t be ready before funding expires on September 30, requiring an extension of current policies for those programs.
On Tuesday, President Biden will travel to Michigan to rally alongside the striking United Auto Workers union members who are negotiating contracts with Detroit’s Big Three automakers.
On Tuesday, the House will meet to consider multiple bills under suspension.
- Bills expected under suspension of the rules.
- H.R. 5110 – Protecting Hunting Heritage and Education Act (Rep. Mark Green – Education and the Workforce). The bill would permit elementary and secondary schools to use federal funds for certain weapons for archery, hunting, and other shooting sports classes.
- S. 2795 – To amend title 38, United States Code, to extend and modify certain authorities and requirements relating to the Department of Veterans Affairs, and for other purposes (Sen. Tester). The bill would extend the Department of Veterans Affairs authorities related to medical treatment, education benefits, and home loan fees.
Wednesday – Friday, the House is scheduled to meet for legislative business.
- Bills expected under a rule.
- H.R. 4365 – Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2024 (Rep. Calvert – Appropriations). The bill would provide $826.4 billion in discretionary funding for fiscal year 2024 to the Pentagon and for other defense-related activities. The funding would be $285.9 million more than the president’s budget request and $28.7 billion more than the level.
- H.R. 4367 – Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Bill, 2024 (Rep. Dave Joyce – Appropriations). The Homeland Security Department would receive $62.8 billion in base discretionary funds for fiscal year 2024.
- H.R. 4665 – Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2024 (Rep. Diaz-Balart – Appropriations). The State Department and foreign aid programs would receive $52.5 billion in discretionary funding for fiscal year 2024, which is 12% less than the 2023 level and 24% less than the president’s budget request.
- H.R. 4368 – Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2024 (Rep. Harris – Appropriations). The Agriculture Department, Food and Drug Administration, and related agencies would receive $25.3 billion in discretionary funding in fiscal year 2024. That amount would be $532 million less than the 2023 level and $3.6 billion less than the White House requested.
On Tuesday, the Senate will vote to invoke cloture on the motion to proceed to the House-passed FAA reauthorization. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has suggested this could be used as a vehicle to pass a Senate-crafted stopgap spending bill.