Outlook: Fiscal Year 2024 Appropriations and Debt Ceiling Deal

By PAA Web posted 05-31-2023 09:30


Debt Ceiling Deal

Over the Memorial Day weekend, President Biden and House Speaker McCarthy announced that they had reached an agreement to suspend the Federal government’s debt ceiling until January 2025 and provide a framework for the annual appropriations bills, which fund all Federal government agencies.

US Capitol dome with american flag

If enacted, the two-year agreement would hold spending on almost all non-defense discretionary programs essentially flat for Fiscal Year (FY) 2024 while boosting spending for defense and veterans’ medical programs. In FY 2025, the agreement would reportedly increase overall spending limits for both defense and nondefense programs by 1 percent. For FY 2026-2029, the agreement outlines non-enforceable topline appropriations targets. In sum, the agreement proposes two years of overall spending caps and in FY 2026 pivots to spending targets that are not bound by law.

To support the slightly higher spending levels in FY 2024 and FY 2025, the package includes numerous “recissions,” which would, among other things, withdraw $28 billion in unspent pandemic relief funds, $400 million from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Global Health Fund, and $1.4 billion in mandatory funds for the Internal Revenue Service. None of the other proposed funding recissions appear to affect programs most important to the population sciences. In addition, the measure recommends several policy tweaks, including work requirements for some food aid recipients and an end to the student debt relief on September 1, 2023.

The U.S. House of Representatives is expected to vote on the measure the week of May 29. If it passes, the U.S. Senate will vote on it by Friday, June 2 or over the weekend. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has said the debt ceiling must be raised by Monday, June 5, 2023, or the United States will default on its financial obligations.

Once passed and signed into law by President Biden, Congress will proceed with the FY 2024 appropriations process in earnest, allocating spending levels to the 12 appropriations subcommittees in the House and Senate that are responsible for drafting bills that fund all Federal government agencies. The revised subcommittee allocations will reflect overall totals proposed in the debt ceiling agreement for defense and nondefense agencies. PAA and APC signed-on to a letter with hundreds of other organizations arguing against cuts to nondefense discretionary spending.

Fiscal Year 2024 Appropriations

Since the beginning of the year, the PAA and APC Office of Government and Public Affairs, with leadership from the PAA/APC Government and Public Affairs Committee, has been urging Congress to provide the Federal scientific research and statistical research agencies that support the population sciences with robust funding in FY 2024.

During its annual Advocacy Day in March 2023, PAA and APC met personally with over 40 congressional offices and staff on the House and Senate Appropriations Committees to communicate our organizations’ support. In addition, as the member of over a dozen coalitions, PAA and APC have signed numerous letters to Congress (see below), joining hundreds of other organizations to urge support for funding agencies such as the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, Census Bureau, and National Center for Health Statistics in FY 2024. Below is a comprehensive list of the letters that PAA and APC have signed to date.

As the FY 2024 appropriations process proceeds, PAA may ask its members to communicate with Congress to express support for funding Federal scientific and statistical agencies vital to the field. We encourage you to respond if PAA issues an action alert over the ensuring months when Congress is expected to debate most of the FY 2024 appropriations bills.

FY 2024 Coalition Letters of Support for Funding

National Institutes of Health

National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

National Science Foundation

National Center for Health Statistics

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

Census Bureau

Institute of Education Sciences

Bureau of Economic Analysis

Bureau of Justice Statistics and National Institute of Justice

Gun Violence Prevention Research