U.S. Congress clears FY 2024 minibus and avoids partial government shutdown

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Paige Mellerio

Associate Legislative Director – Finance, Pensions & Intergovernmental Affairs

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Key Takeaways

On March 8, the U.S. Senate voted 75-22 to clear a “minibus” appropriations package (H.R. 4366) containing the final Fiscal Year (FY) 2024 Military Construction-Veterans Affairs, Agriculture-Rural Development, Commerce-Justice-Science, Energy & Water, Interior-Environment, and Transportation-HUD spending bills. 

  • The U.S. House voted 339-85 on Wednesday, March 6, to pass the package under suspension of the rules before sending it to the U.S. Senate.
  • By passing this spending package by the Friday, March 8 deadline set by the most recent Continuing Resolution, Congress was able to avert a partial government shutdown

What’s in this first minibus? 

H.R. 4366 includes approximately $459 billion in discretionary spending for FY 2024 across 12 federal departments and agencies. This topline spending level represents a 0.6 percent or $2 billion increase over the comparable FY 2023 spending levels. 

Key highlights for counties include: 

  • Full funding, or $515 million, for the Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program
  • Making permanent the option for states to waive IMD exclusion for substance use disorder (SUD) treatment and services
  • Continued funding for rural broadband programs at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), including the ReConnect, Distance Learning and Telemedicine and the Community Connect Programs
  • $924 million for the Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance (Byrne-JAG) Grants to provide resources to counties to address public safety challenges
  • FY 2024 spending limits on federal highway ($60.8 billion) and transit funding ($13.9 billion) authorized through the federal Highway Trust Fund, thereby allowing the funds to be spent, under levels set by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL/P.L. 117-58)
  • Increased funding for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC)
  • Over $500 million cut from USDA Rural Development programs for a total of $3.5 billion in FY 2024
  • Approximately $32.4 billion for Housing Choice Vouchers and $4 billion for Homeless Assistance Grants 
  • $2.77 billion for the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds (SRFs), excluding additional IIJA funding

NACo's full legislative analysis of final FY 2024 spending can be found here.

What’s next?

Congress has until Friday, March 22 to clear the remaining six spending bills – the Defense, Financial Services & General Government, Homeland Security, Labor-HHS-Education, Legislative Branch, and State & Foreign Operations – to finalize FY 2024 spending and avert a partial government shutdown. 
 

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