Congress passes continuing resolution, expires January 19

On November 17, President Biden signed the Further Continuing Appropriations and Other Extensions Act (H.R. 6363). This prevents a government shutdown and gives Congress more time to finalize FY24 appropriations bills. The legislation sets a January 19 deadline for Congress to pass the FY24 Agriculture-FDA, Energy and Water, Military Construction-VA, and Transportation-HUD bills. The remaining eight appropriations bills now have a February 2 deadline. The bill does not include any supplemental funding or cuts to existing levels of funding. The entire Oregon congressional delegation voted in support of the continuing resolution. 

Some analysts believe the “laddered” continuing resolution, or different expiration dates for different categories of appropriations, will put pressure on Congress to negotiate an agreement to pass FY24 appropriations bills by the January 19 and February 2 deadlines. Currently, the House has passed seven of the 12 annual government-funding bills, while the Senate has passed only three. But the chambers disagree sharply on funding levels for many areas of federal spending, and Congress will have quite a bit of work to do to pass the remaining bills by the deadlines set forth in the continuing resolution. 

The House debated the FY24 Labor-HHS-Education spending bill (H.R. 5894) but was unable to establish a majority. Debate over the bill will continue after the Thanksgiving recess. This bill includes funding cuts for the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Education and eliminates funding for several student aid programs, along with other highly impactful provisions. All six members of the Oregon delegation voted to turn back amendments that would zero out funding to the Institute of Education Sciences and the National Endowments for the Arts and the Humanities. The amendments were defeated on a bipartisan basis.