Becker & Poliakoff

Becker’s Washington Weekly: Week of September 25, 2023

Becker’s Washington Weekly: Week of September 25, 2023

Shutdown Showdown:

This is Congress’ last full week to pass an appropriations package by midnight Saturday to avert a government shutdown.

While House lawmakers are setting up votes on four individual FY24 appropriations bills – Defense, Homeland Security, State-Foreign Operations, and Agriculture-FDA – thin voting margins in the Chamber may complicate that process. The Senate’s appropriations bills are all awaiting floor votes, but anything passed would still need to have parity with the House’s bills.

In the meantime, House Republicans are hoping to pass some form of a stopgap measure to keep the government open to buy more negotiating time on a full funding package, but disagreements over the level of spending cuts – including aid for Ukraine – has proven to be a sticking point for some Members.

A current proposal by leadership would keep the government open for 31 days while making an 8% cut to most non-defense programs, but reports indicate that some Members are also eyeing a stopgap measure lasting anywhere from 14 to 60 days.

Finally, lawmakers will conduct several committee hearings this week, including the following:

  • The Senate Banking, Housing, & Urban Affairs Committee will discuss the state of flood insurance in America
  • The House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee will discuss state and local perspectives on clean water infrastructure
  • The Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee will examine China’s influence in the critical mineral supply chain

The Administration

President Joe Biden will meet with leaders of the U.S.-Pacific Islands Forum Summit, and afterwards will join Vice President Kamala Harris to meet with the President’s Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities.