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ACEC Legislative Update

Yesterday, the House of Representatives approved a short-term, stopgap funding bill to keep government programs operating and avoid a partial shutdown. The vote was 336-95, with 127 Republicans joining 209 Democrats in support. The new Speaker, Rep. Mike Johnson, took a novel approach, proposing a two-tiered "continuing resolution (CR)" that has two different expirations. Some programs - including transportation - are extended through January 19, 2024. That package includes energy, water, and military construction programs that tend to be popular and relatively easier to negotiate. The rest are extended to February 2, 2024. The Speaker's stated objective was to avoid getting jammed with a year-end omnibus bill and continue to try to advance individual spending bills. Democrats supported it because it maintained current funding levels and did not include any objectionable policy provisions. The Senate is expected to pass the CR this week and the President has said he will sign it into law. This will push the broader budget debate passed the holidays and into early next year. With respect to the full-year spending bill for Fiscal Year 2024, the House has been unable to pass the Transportation, Housing & Urban Development appropriations bill. Enough moderate Republicans have joined with Democrats in objecting to the proposed cuts to rail, transit and multimodal grants that the bill does not have enough support to pass.


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