Last Friday, President Biden signed the Congress-approved stopgap spending bill, narrowly beating the weekend deadline that would have seen a lapse in funding for some government agencies and a partial government shutdown.
The legislation extends last fiscal year’s spending levels for agriculture, veterans programs, transportation, housing, health programs and other federal operations until March 1, with funding for the rest of the government, including the Pentagon, expiring on March 8.
While this buys some time for appropriations committees to push through the dozen bills funding the government for FY2024, congressional leaders will need to contend with ongoing hard-line opposition. The far right House Freedom Caucus are expected to continue demanding steep spending cuts and other party-priorities including conservative immigration reform proposals, restrictions on abortion and other limits on government Democrats will not accept.
As debates on funding key programs are likely to persist, organizations in relevant sectors who want to shape the conversation around these debates should consider arming their spokespeople with talking points for when they interact with policy reporters.