Due to an unforeseen scheduling conflict, ourMonday, December 4 event with Chairman Cole has been postponed. Please be on the lookout for an updated invitation with our rescheduled date and time. We apologize for any inconvenience this change may cause.

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Steptoe is tracking the fast-moving developments in the federal appropriations process on behalf of our clients. Below are the top developments you need to know.

The Topline:

After a short Thanksgiving recess, members of Congress are back in town and are scrambling to address a number of outstanding funding issues before leaving again for the holidays. Chief among these issues is the need for Congressional leaders to come to an agreement on topline funding limits for fiscal year (FY) 2024, which would give congressional appropriators the information needed to distribute subcommittee funding allocations and begin writing a final bill. Aides to the House and Senate leaders have been meeting for past several weeks to come to an agreement. While Congress will steer clear of a shutdown fight in 2023, deadlines in late January and early February are fast approaching.

While leaders look to strike a deal on topline funding numbers, bipartisan Senate negotiators have reached a stalemate on border policy negotiations. While the talks have made progress since they began a couple weeks ago, senators have reached a roadblock on how to address a particular immigration statute which gives the administration authority to allow certain migrants into the U.S. temporarily. While Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) met with Republican senators this week, he has not indicated a House position for the supplemental. Republicans are insisting on making substantive border policy changes as the price for winning their support for funding to Ukraine and Israel.


  • November 29 - Aides to the "big four" congressional leaders are trying to reach an agreement on overall spending limits for fiscal year 2024 as early as this week which they can then take to their respective bosses — who would have the difficult task of selling it to appropriators and the rank-and-file. CQ News
  • November 29 - Speaker Mike Johnson told Senate Republicans that the House would be unable to pass a broad emergency spending package combining supplemental aid for Israel, Ukraine and more as sought by the Biden administration. CQ News
    • Related: Interest in annual funding bills has temporarily dissipated as lawmakers focus on the short-term need for an emergency foreign-aid spending measure. BGOV
    • Related: Johnson draws hard line on Senate's border-Ukraine dealmaking. Politico
  • November 29 - Speaker Mike Johnson is edging closer to the same sort of clash with conservatives that helped bring down his predecessor Kevin McCarthy. Politico Pro
  • November 28 - An influential House Freedom Caucus member wants Speaker Mike Johnson to ignore "side deals" in the debt limit suspension law that would bolster nondefense spending and use a backstop mechanism in that law to force automatic cuts if Democrats won't agree. Roll Call
  • November 29 - The House Budget Committee held its lawmaker-studded hearing today on three plans for creating a bipartisan fiscal commission. Politico Pro
    • Related: Renewed attention to the federal debt has brought back calls for a fiscal commission to address the deficit, but those proposals aren't likely to address the impending spending elephant in the room: the expiration of most of the tax provisions in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Tax Notes
  • Related: Democratic divisions over approaches to curbing long-term debt growth were on display Wednesday during a House Budget Committee hearing on legislation to create a bipartisan commission charged with recommending a deficit reduction plan. CQ News
  • November 28 - Steep cuts to transit and rail programs as proposed by House Republicans foreshadow a larger future funding fight as they offset typical appropriations with spending from a 2021 infrastructure law, according to those closely watching the spending drama. CQ News


  • November 29 - Bipartisan Senate negotiations on border policy changes — the linchpin to secure GOP support for Ukraine aid — appeared in a fragile state despite days of private talks. CQ News
  • November 29 - Finishing out fiscal 2024 under a continuing resolution would have "devastating impacts" on the military, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. C.Q. Brown Jr. told the Senate Appropriations Committee. CQ News



Next Week

(No appropriation-related events)

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