Update on FY24 Appropriations, Border Security Deal, and Tax Bill

The House and Senate are back in session this week and are focused on three main issues: fiscal year 2024 appropriations bills, a border security and Ukraine/Israel/Taiwan supplemental funding deal, and a tax package. Here’s the latest…


FY2024 Appropriations

Government funding for veterans, transportation, agriculture and energy programs runs out March 1. Funding for the rest of the government, including the military and the biggest domestic programs, expires March 8. House and Senate leadership reached agreement on an overall funding level for the FY24 bills earlier this year. Appropriators made more progress late Friday when Senate Appropriations Committee Chair Patty Murray (D-WA) and House Appropriations Committee Chair Kay Granger (R-CA) reached a deal on how to allocate the overall $1.66T funding level between the 12 appropriations bills. The chairs had been negotiating these allocations for almost three weeks. This deal allows subcommittee staff to start writing and negotiating their bills. The House is scheduled to be in session 11/14 days, while the Senate is scheduled to be in session 13/17 days before the continuing resolutions (CRs) expire on March 1st/8th.


Even if Congress can pass the FY24 appropriations bills by the March deadlines, the fiscal year will be nearly halfway over and agencies will be under pressure to get the money out the door in an expedited timeline. However, they were last confronted with the same challenge in FY2022 when the final bills were enacted on March 15, 2022.


Border Security and Ukraine/Israel/Taiwan Supplemental Funding

Senate negotiators said over the weekend that they had reached a deal on border policy changes and are finalizing the last pieces of legislative text. President Biden endorsed the deal framework.


One of the negotiators, Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT), said the deal would give the administration the authority to shut down the border between ports of entry if daily average migrant crossings reach catastrophically high levels (more than 4,000/day). The deal would also speed up the asylum process from 10 years to six months.


There is not a timeline for Senate consideration right now, and, even if the Senate can pass the package, resistance from the right will make passage in the House challenging. Former President Trump has called on them to reject anything that is short of a “perfect” deal and House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) has said it would be “dead on arrival” in the House. Sen. Jim Lankford (R-OK), the top GOP negotiator on the deal, pushed back on the attacks saying critics have yet to see the bill. Republicans also are concerned the deal would hand President Biden a “win” in an election year.


Republicans have said a border security deal is necessary for them to consider providing $110.5B in supplemental emergency funding for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan. If Congress can’t pass the border security-immigration reform part of the deal, it is unclear if Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) will agree to split off the supplemental funding and try to pass it separately in the hopes of pressuring the House to take it up.


Tax Package

The House could vote this week on the Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act that was passed out of the House Ways and Means Committee earlier this month by a vote of 40-3. The $78B bipartisan tax deal could go to the House floor under a rule (requires majority vote for passage) or under suspension of the rules (requires 2/3 majority vote for passage). Suspension allows the House to skip voting on a rule to provide for the bill’s consideration, limits floor debate, and prohibits floor amendments; but it would require a significant number of Democratic votes for passage. New York Republicans in the House have said they won’t vote for the bill if it does not include a provision to lift the state and local tax (SALT) exemption limit.


Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden (D-OR) has not said whether he plans to mark up the bill in Committee or take it straight to the Senate floor for consideration. Wyden may be watching the outcome of the House consideration before making that decision. The bill’s supporters hope a strong showing in the House will put pressure on the Senate to quickly pass the legislation and not succumb to pressure from Senate Republicans who want to make some changes to the legislation.

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