Appropriations Process Underway
The appropriations process for congressionally directed spending (CDS) (e.g., earmarks) is beginning to ramp up. On February 22, the Senate Appropriations Committee released information on appropriations requests and CDS for FY 2024, including a guidance document for senators. The committee confirmed that, in addition to accepting programmatic and language requests, it will again accept requests for CDS on a bipartisan basis. The guidance notes that community funded projects can promote economic development, education, healthcare initiatives and other worthy investments in communities across the country.
The House Appropriations Committee, under the new Republican majority, is working out the details of its FY 2024 earmark process and is reportedly considering more stringent parameters. It has been reported that potentially all CDS in the Labor-HHS-Education bill may be prohibited, and limitations could expand further. Prohibiting Labor-HHS-Education CDS in the House earmark process would result in restrictions on healthcare-related projects being funded through Members of Congress in the House, leaving the Senate as the sole source for such community priorities. We may see the earmark guidance from the House later this week.
Next week will bring the president’s FY 2024 budget. While the budget request represents the administration’s funding goals for the coming year, it also sheds light on many of its key policy goals. With tight margins in the House and Senate, stakeholders look to these goals as possible regulatory or executive steps the Administration could implement without the need for congressional action, or priorities the president may pursue with Congress. The president’s budget request is the first step in the federal budget process. Administration officials will testify before several congressional committees in the coming weeks to present and discuss the proposed budget. Relevant congressional committees are already discussing the FY 2024 budget and appropriations, as time is limited between now and the end of the current fiscal year (September 31, 2023).