Debt Ceiling Deal Caps Funding for Two Years, House Seeks Additional Cuts

As previously reported, the White House and House Republican leadership agreed to a budget deal late last month that would keep the U.S. from defaulting on its debt, at least until after the 2024 elections. The agreement, passed by Congress as the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023 (H.R. 3746), suspends the federal debt ceiling until January 2025. However, as Republicans have been demanding, the suspension comes with stiff caps on discretionary spending for the next two years. In effect, the caps are likely to result in flat funding for federal research agencies in fiscal year (FY) 2024, with perhaps a few exceptions for agencies of priority to Congress. More will be known as the House and Senate move to consider their FY 2024 appropriations bills. Several bills are beginning to move in the House, although none of the bills are primarily responsible for funding science agencies. 

Source: CQ Roll Call

CQ is reporting that House Appropriations Committee Chair Kay Granger (R-TX) presented her subcommittee funding allocations—known as 302(b)—to the Republican conference this week. These numbers dictate how much discretionary funding can be spent in each of the 12 appropriations bills. In response to the demands of the Freedom Caucus, the FY 2024 allocations would cut spending by $119 billion below the total included in budget deal discussed above, bringing nondefense discretionary (NDD) funding back to FY 2022 levels. Defense spending would increase. The allocations all but guarantee that deep spending cuts will be taken in the House versions of the FY 2024 bills. However, the Democrat-controlled Senate is expected to take a very different approach and work to keep most programs whole in FY 2024. 

Additional details are expected over the next few weeks. Watch for COSSA’s ongoing coverage of FY 2024 funding legislation.


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