Skip to content

News and updates

Agreement Reached for FY24 Topline Spending Numbers

Over the weekend, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) reached an agreement on FY24 topline spending which includes $886 billion in defense spending (3% increase over FY23) and $773 billion for discretionary funding (roughly the same as FY23).

There are two tight deadlines approaching: four of the twelve appropriations bills are funded through January 19 and the other eight are funded through February 2. There has been reports that Speaker Johnson could potentially agree to a short-term continuing resolution (CR) through March 1st so that the FY24 bills can be finalized. There is still a lot to be done, including writing the FY24 bills and working through disagreements on supplemental funding and other policy riders.

Read more about this here and here.


Congress Passes the FY24 NDAA

Both the Senate and the House have passed the FY24 NDAA this week, sending the package to President Biden. The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) sets the policy agenda and authorizes funding for the Department of Defense each year.

The final negotiated version of the FY24 NDAA authorizes $886 billion in national defense funding, an increase of $28 billion over last year, which includes both a 5.2% pay raise for military and $300 million for extended Ukraine Security Assistance (separate from the supplemental funding request), among other provisions. The legislation does not include two controversial provisions related to abortion and transgender health care access, which were included in the House version that passed this summer. Now that the NDAA is passed, the race is on to get the 12 appropriations bills passed before the short term continuing resolutions expire in January & February.

Read more about this here and here.

House Ed Committee will markup a new bill Tuesday to expand the use of short-term Pell Grants

A new bipartisan bill was introduced in the House Education Committee on Tuesday that would allow Pell Grants to be used for short-term programs programs lasting eight weeks (currently, they can only be used for academic programs lasting at least 15 weeks). This would go into effect for the 2025-2026 school year. The bipartisan bill is co-sponsored by Rep. Virginia Foxx — a North Carolina Republican who chairs the House Committee on Education and the Workforce — and Rep. Bobby Scott — a Virginia Democrat and ranking member of the committee.

In order for a program to qualify, the Education Department would have to verify that programs maintain both completion rates and job placement rates of at least 70% and that there is a positive ROI, among other qualifications.

Chair Foxx has scheduled a committee markup on the bill for next Tuesday, Dec 12.

Read more about this here and here.

Congress Averts Another Government Shutdown

Last week, President Biden signed the Further Continuing Appropriations and Other Extensions Act (H.R. 6363) thus preventing a government shutdown. The bill sets two different deadlines for different bills: there is a January 19 deadline for Congress to pass the FY24 Agriculture-FDA, Energy and Water, Military Construction-VA, and Transportation-HUD bills and a February 2 deadline for the remaining eight appropriations bills. The bill does not include any supplemental funding or cuts to existing levels of funding.

So far, the House has passed seven of the 12 annual government-funding bills, while the Senate has passed only three. Congress is on Thanksgiving recess and when they return will have to do significant work into 2024 to meet these two deadlines. Read more about this here.

Congressional Staff Visit the UW’s Seattle Campus

Six congressional staff from a range of Washington members’ offices visited the UW Seattle campus today to tour some of UW’s impressive research facilities. We are always happy to share the exciting things happening on campus as we continue to work together to advance research that has a direct impact on our community, state, country, and world.