Congress Avoids Potential Government Shutdown; Pulls Consideration of Bill that would Slash Education Funding
This week, Congress successfully advanced a continuing resolution (CR), a stop-gap spending measure that would extend existing funding levels through January 19 for some portions of the federal government, including the Departments of Agriculture and Veterans Affairs, and through February 2 for the remaining agencies, including Education and Health and Human Services. The move, which averts a government shutdown, also punts final decisions on Fiscal Year (FY) 2024 into the new year, without a resolution of the underlying challenges. The Senate has agreed to a bipartisan approach to FY 2024 that would essentially level-fund programs, while House Republicans, who hold the majority in that body, seek deep cuts to spending at the behest of the Democrats. This political impasse was on full display this week as the House considered the FY 2024 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies appropriations bill, which would slash the Department of Education by 28 percent, among other proposed cuts. The bill had steadfast opposition from House Democrats, and many moderate House Republicans voiced their concerns with the proposed cuts, noting that they’d heard from constituents about harmful local impacts. Simultaneously, far-right House Republicans opposed the bill for not going far enough to reign in on spending. Ultimately, the bill was pulled from the floor when it became clear there was insufficient support to advance the measure.
CEC extends its thanks to all who voiced their opposition to cuts to education funding last week- outside pressure included CEC advocates galvanized enough Members in opposition to the bill that it could not advance.