Look Ahead January 8, 2024

Look Ahead to the Week of January 8: Topline Spending Agreement Reached

Both the House and Senate are in session this week.

On Sunday, congressional leaders–including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA)–announced that a topline spending deal has been reached for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2024 government funding. The topline agreement comes a few weeks before a partial government shutdown on January 19. The deal sets the cap for the 12 annual spending bills at $1.59 trillion, which adheres to the “side deals” cut by former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), although it does not strictly comply with the Fiscal Responsibility Act agreed to in June. Republicans have also agreed to a set of budget moves that Democrats demanded to spare immediate cuts to domestic agency budgets, which will likely upset conservatives. The deal also lacks an agreement to block all conservative policy riders, which could set up a conflict if House Republicans attempt to incorporate “poison pill” policy riders, which are nonstarters for Democrats. Although the topline bipartisan agreement lessens the chance of a government shutdown, the appropriations deadlines of January 19 and February 2 are only weeks away and much has to be done before funding expires.

Some conservatives are pushing Speaker Johnson to use the upcoming shutdown deadline to pressure President Biden to accept changes in border security policy. However, Republican leaders have continued to call for dealing with the border issue as part of Biden’s separate request for additional aid to Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan. Those negotiations are ongoing.

Separately, Congress will continue its efforts in the coming months to pass reauthorizations for the Federal Aviation Administration authorities, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act’s electronic surveillance authorities, and the Farm Bill. Congress also continues to negotiate a health care package on price transparency rules and pharmacy benefit manager reform.

The Administration

On Monday, President Biden will be in Charleston, South Carolina, for a political event before traveling to Dallas, Texas, to attend a memorial service for the late Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX).

House Side

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

  • Bills expected under suspension of the rules.
    • H.R. 540 – Taiwan Non-Discrimination Act of 2023, as amended (Rep. Young Kim – Financial Services). The measure would require the U.S. governor of the International Monetary Fund to take actions to support Taiwan’s membership in the fund and participate in the organization’s training and economic surveillance programs. 
    • H.R. 803 – PROTECT Taiwan Act, as amended (Rep. Lucas – Financial Services). The measure would establish a U.S. policy that would exclude, to the maximum extent feasible, the Chinese government from various international financial organizations if the President determines that China took actions that threatened Taiwan’s security or social or economic system.
    • H.R. 839 – China Exchange Rate Transparency Act of 2023, as amended (Rep. Meuser – Financial Services). The legislation would instruct the U.S. executive director at the IMF to advocate for greater transparency in and surveillance of China’s exchange rate arrangements.
    • H.R. 4768 – No Russian Agriculture Act, as amended (Rep. Waters – Financial Services). The legislation would require the Treasury Department to direct U.S. executive directors at international financial institutions to advocate for projects to decrease reliance on Russian agricultural commodities, particularly fertilizer and grain.
    • H.R. 6370 – OFAC Licensure for Investigators Act, as amended (Rep. Beatty – Financial Services). The legislation would require the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control to develop a pilot program allowing private firms to carry out limited financial transactions with sanctioned entities to further investigations.

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

  • Bills expected under a rule.
    • S.J.Res.38 – A joint resolution providing for congressional disapproval under Chapter 8 of Title 5, United States Code, of the rule submitted by the Federal Highway Administration on a “Waiver of Buy America Requirements for Electric Vehicle Chargers” (Sen. Rubio – Transportation and Infrastructure). The joint resolution would block a rule temporarily permitting the use of non-US-made materials for electric vehicle chargers.
    • H.R. 788 – Stop Settlement Slush Funds Act of 2023 (Rep. Gooden – Judiciary). The bill would prohibit federal agencies from directing payments to third parties, such as charitable organizations, as part of court settlements.
    • H.J.Res.98 – A joint resolution providing for congressional disapproval under Chapter 8 of Title 5, United States Code, of the rule submitted by the National Labor Relations Board on a "Standard for Determining Joint Employer Status" (Rep. James – Education and the Workforce). The joint resolution would block the rule establishing a new standard to determine whether two businesses are joint employers of the same workers.

Senate Side

On Monday, the Senate resumes consideration of John Kazen’s nomination to be a federal judge for the Southern District of Texas. Schumer has also filed cloture on José Javier Rodríguez to be an assistant secretary of labor, Joseph Goffman to be an EPA assistant administrator, Kato Crews to be a district judge for Colorado, and Karoline Mehalchick to be a judge for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.

Media Contact
Alex Wolfe
Communications Director

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