Congressional Leaders Pledge Progress on FY24 Funding Bills
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Newly elected Speaker of the House Mike Johnson and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer directed their chambers to proceed with fiscal 2024 budget legislation ahead of a mid-November government funding deadline.
Soon after garnering backing from a majority of the House on Oct. 25, Johnson (R-La.) assured colleagues of his intention to advance budget appropriations bills for the upcoming fiscal year. Funding for federal agencies expires Nov. 17.
“Our House Republican Conference is united, and eager to work,” said Johnson, who received 220 votes from his Republican caucus. “As speaker, I will ensure the House delivers results and inspires change for the American people. We will restore trust in this body. We will advance a comprehensive conservative policy agenda, combat the harmful policies of the Biden administration, and support our allies abroad. And we will restore sanity to a government desperately in need of it.”
Johnson’s ascension to the speakership wrapped up an almost monthlong Republican campaign for the chamber’s top job. Johnson succeeds former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), who was ousted earlier this month.
On the other side of the Capitol, Schumer promoted a sense of urgency around approving legislation that would fund the U.S. Department of Transportation and other federal agencies. The Senate leader signaled the potential for the chamber to vote on the fiscal 2024 transportation bill as early as the week of Oct. 30.
“If passed, these bills will make a huge difference for American farmers, for our infrastructure, for housing, and for our military bases and veterans,” Schumer said Oct. 25. “Bipartisanship isn’t easy — on the contrary these days it is exceedingly difficult — but we’re moving forward thanks to the good work of our appropriators. … We’re going to need bipartisanship in all that we do during this time of divided government.”
“Bipartisanship will be essential for passing these appropriations bills,” the New York Democrat continued. “Bipartisanship will be essential for keeping the government open in less than a month.”
The Senate is continuing to make good progress on the bipartisan appropriations process.
When we pass these three bills for MilCon-VA, Agriculture-FDA, Transportation-HUD:
They will be the only appropriations bills passed in either chamber that both parties support. — Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) October 26, 2023
The Senate fiscal 2024 transportation measure would provide $98.9 billion for the departments of Transportation and Housing and Urban Development. It would dedicate $20.2 billion for the Federal Aviation Administration, $16.8 billion for the Federal Transit Administration and $3.4 billion for the Federal Railroad Administration. The Senate bill also would provide the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration with nearly $1 billion for fiscal 2024.
Senate Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray (D-Wash.) echoed Schumer’s sentiment: “Just a few weeks ago, we were on the brink of a completely unnecessary government shutdown, before cooler heads prevailed, and the lesson from the near-shutdown should be clear: Letting the loudest voices on the far right push for damaging cuts, and extreme, partisan policies is a road to disaster.”
“Bipartisanship is the only way to get the job done in a divided government,” Murray went on.
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The House $90.2 billion fiscal 2024 appropriations bill also would dedicate nearly $1 billion for FMCSA. For other agencies it would provide $62 billion for the Federal Highway Administration, $19.5 billion for FAA, $14.6 billion for FTA, $1.4 billion for FRA and $1.2 billion for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Specific to trucking, the House legislation would prohibit requirements linked to inward-facing cameras on commercial motor vehicles.
“Now that we have elected a speaker, we must refocus our attention on passing our fiscal year 2024 bills — the most conservative appropriations bills in history,” House Appropriations Chairwoman Kay Granger (R-Texas) said Oct. 25. “With the next funding deadline just weeks away, we have no time to waste.”
A partial federal shutdown would commence without enactment of fiscal 2024 funding measures by Nov. 17.