Update: FY24 Appropriation Funding Bills
In the Senate, twenty Republican senators sent a letter to Majority Leader Schumer demanding that the Senate act on all FY24 appropriations bills before taking up any other legislation. Per their letter, “with less than 40 days remaining until government funding once again expires on November 17th, there is no more important work for the Senate during this time than debating, amending, and passing appropriations bills without resorting to a giant package dumped on the conference right before the December holiday. If you commit to this process, including an open amendment process, we believe there will be consent in the Senate to expeditiously consider these bills.”
In the House, all legislation has ground to a halt and concerns are beginning to emerge regarding a government shutdown next month when the current CR expires on November 17th. Some House Republicans want Speaker Pro Tempore McHenry to kick-start appropriations talks with the Senate. Rep. Graves (R-LA) said, “I think we need to be very thoughtful about the roles and the authority that he can exercise in that position. I would love to . . . be in a situation where we can move forward on appropriations bills and other things right now, and at least have some informal conversations with the Senate, where we don’t find ourselves set behind a month, maybe just a few days. However, with no historical precedent for McHenry’s role, it is not yet clear what authorities he will be able to exercise.”
Finally, the fate of assistance for Ukraine’s efforts to hold off Russia’s invasion now rests in large part on the next speaker, who will have to navigate a party sharply divided on the issue. Aid to Ukraine still enjoys broad support in Congress. President Biden said he’s planning a “major speech” on the need for additional aid for Ukraine and said he fears disarray in the House is threatening further aid. Sens. Murray (D-WA) and Collins (R-ME) said they are working in a bipartisan manner on helping Ukraine.