Appropriations Talks Hit Snag as Deadlines Approach

February 26, 2024

Lawmakers will return this week as leadership scrambles to figure out a path forward for keeping the federal government funded. Here’s an overview of where things stand as we approach the upcoming March deadlines.


  • What happened? Leadership was originally hoping to unveil text of the first fiscal year (FY) 2024 spending bills over the weekend — possibly alongside another continuing resolution (CR) to provide lawmakers with additional time on the remaining bills. However, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) confirmed that spending talks will slip into this week as House Republicans remain deadlocked over several policy disagreements that have bogged down the appropriations process.


  • What’s next? Notably, the “big four” congressional leaders are slated to meet with President Biden on government funding and the foreign aid supplemental on Tuesday. Funding for Agriculture-FDA, Military Construction-VA, Energy-Water, and Transportation-HUD is set to expire Friday at midnight without a deal, with everything else funded through March 8. With the House set to return on Wednesday, any funding agreement to keep the government open will likely brush up close to Friday’s deadline.


Situational awareness. Notably, reports out of Capitol Hill suggested that leadership is considering another CR through March 22 to provide additional time to write and pass pending appropriations bills. However, that report came out before appropriators missed their target deadline of Sunday for a government funding announcement. Meanwhile, Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) is entering a potential “make or break” scenario with respect to his leadership position as lawmakers on the House Freedom Caucus continue to pressure for conservative policy riders and spending cuts for FY 2024. Potential votes on “minibus” spending packages and foreign aid without Freedom Caucus priorities could spur another effort to remove the speaker from his post — a key contributing factor to the current government funding uncertainty.