Congress avoids another Government Shutdown until Early 2024

Alejandro Carranza
Spinnaker Government Relations
U.S. Capitol Building

At the end of September, Speaker Kevin McCarthy moved a bill to keep the federal government operating until November 17. The bill passed, but McCarthy lost his job and was removed from House leadership. Over the following twenty-two days, House GOP members tried repeatedly to elect a new Speaker of the House before ultimately settling on their 4th pick, Mike Johnson of Louisiana (LA-4).

Last week, Speaker Johnson faced his first big challenge as the McCarthy funding bill expired. Johnson successfully wrangled enough House Republicans to join House Democrats and pass a second “continuing resolution” (CR) to temporarily fund the government -- but with a twist. 

Johnson’s bill uses a never-before-tried concept called a “laddered CR,” or a two-tier continuing resolution that will fund portions of the federal government until two separate dates. Approximately one third the government will be funded until January 19, while the balance of federal agencies will be funded until February 2. Below is a summary of which federal departments will be funded until which deadline. 

The laddered concept makes for a complicated end to the annual appropriations process. The House and Senate still need to reconcile their differences on spending for FY2024. The two separate deadlines may incentivize both chambers to work together, or it may create a rolling multi-week crisis with various federal agencies running out of money at different times.  Advocates and Congress watchdogs will know more when Congress returns from the Thanksgiving recess. 

Federal agencies funded until January 19th, 2024:

  • Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (Containing funding for the Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program, and the new Youth Homelessness System Improvement Grants within YHDP)
  • Agriculture
  • Energy and Water
  • Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies

Federal agencies funded until February 2nd, 2024:

  • Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies (Containing funding for the Youth Mentor Grants)
  • Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Containing Funding for the Runaway and Homeless Youth Programs)
  • Defense
  • Financial Services and General Government
  • Homeland Security
  • Interior
  • Legislative Branch
  • State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs

Youth serving programs that rely on federal grants should be heads up for any potential changes in the release of notifications of funding availability. When annual appropriations are delayed to as late as January or February, some federal agencies may also delay the release of some RFAs. Other agencies will move ahead as planned. It varies based on each individual agency’s financial situation, but grantees should be aware that appropriations are delayed at least 4-5 months and should be looking for any potential changes in application releases or deadlines.  

In the interim, all federal programs will continue to be funded at FY23 levels until Congress is able to conference and pass all 12 annual funding bills for FY24. The House and Senate are still nearly $100 billion apart in their overall spending allocations. As a result, we will likely see another funding clash in January and February of this year. To follow more closely, please look to the following news stories below:

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