Congress Enacts Second CR, Extends FY23 Funding Levels Into Early 2024

This week, Congress passed a clean, bipartisan continuing resolution (CR) to maintain current funding levels into the new year. While the CR faced considerable opposition from the House Freedom Caucus and their allies, it passed both chambers with broad support from Democrats and Republicans.   

In an unusual approach, the new CR splits FY24 appropriations into two paths with separate deadlines for finalizing full year appropriations. Four appropriations bills have been extended until January 19 (Agriculture; Energy-Water; Military Construction-Veterans Affairs; and Transportation-HUD). The rest of the spending bills (including Labor-HHS, which funds AmeriCorps) have been extended through February 2. The CR did not include supplemental funding for other congressional and Administration priorities, such as funding for Israel or Ukraine. The new House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) helped shape and pass this two-tier approach to stopgap funding.  

Congress has a lot of work to do to finalize FY24 appropriations before these deadlines. There have also been reports that Congress may, in the meantime, consider a supplemental funding measure to address more urgent domestic and international priorities. It’s possible that this supplemental moves independently or as a part of a final appropriations agreement. 

While the CR provides Congress more time to work on the FY24 budget, it is not much time. Aside from the CR deadlines, lawmakers also have an April deadline when across-the-board, automatic cuts to federal spending are triggered. These potential cuts were established in the Fiscal Responsibility Act, also referred to as the debt limit deal, to help ensure the House and Senate would reach a compromise and complete FY24 federal appropriations. 

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