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Legislative Affairs

March 10, 2023

President Biden’s FY24 Budget Proposal Released

Members’ FY24 Appropriation Request Deadlines Ongoing

On Thursday, President Biden released his $6.8 trillion FY24 budget proposal, officially kicking off the budget negation process with Congress which will take place over the course of the rest of this year. Among the President’s wish list are a 7.3 percent increase in domestic spending, plans to extend the solvency of Medicare and Social Security entitlement programs and additional defense spending, all to be offset by higher taxes for the rich, including a so-called “billionaire” minimum tax, which the administration claims will also reduce the deficit by $3 trillion over the next 10 years. Republicans have already panned this proposal as unserious, stating that the deficit reduction is unreal, increasing taxes would hurt the economy and the proposed increases to defense spending are not enough while domestic spending should be cut back significantly, not rise. This proposal, like most presidential budgets, is considered largely “dead on arrival” but does serve as a starting point for House and Senate work on their own budgets to begin.

In related news, many Congressional offices were waiting to accept constituent requests for the annual appropriations requests until the President’s budget was announced, so most of those forms are now live with extremely short deadlines. Please continue working with your WSW Team to stay up to date of all developments in the appropriations process.

Here’s what else you may have missed this week:

House Republicans will promote their signature energy bill next Tuesday. In advance of planned floor votes at the end of the month, Majority Leader Steve Scalise will lead efforts next week to begin promoting House Republican’s signature energy bill, H.R. 1, The Lower Energy Costs Act, which includes provisions to open up the permitting process for energy infrastructure like pipelines, forcing more lease sales on untapped energy sources, and easing access to mine rare-earth minerals, in contrast to the Biden’s Administration’s energy and climate policies.

31 Democrats join Senate Republicans in striking down a DC Crime Bill. In a rare bipartisan move, Democrats joined Republicans to resoundingly defeat a modification to laws in the District of Columbia which would have reduced penalties for some violent criminals in the nation’s capital. Congress has veto authority over changes to DC city laws and President Biden, despite complaints from within his own party, had also signaled he would not support the proposed changes to the DC law. Republicans quicky seized the opportunity to showcase their tough on crime credentials.

Hearing witnesses face hostile panels in House and Senate. Invitations to appear before House and Senate Committees may have once been considered a coveted invitation by industry leaders but of late, these invitations have had more risk than reward. The CEO of Norfolk Southern issued an apology before a Senate committee for his company’s train derailment in a small Ohio community, while Ohio Senators Sherrod Brown (D) and JD Vance (R) of Ohio, as well as many other Senators, pressed the CEO to make specific and long-term commitments to address the economic and health care impacts of the community now and over the longer-term. A Senate HELP hearing has now been scheduled with CEO of Starbucks, Howard Schultz, for the end of March after Chairman Bernie Sanders threated to subpoena him for his testimony about his company’s actions against labor organizing. In the same committee this week, Sen. Markwayne Mullin got into a screaming match with Teamsters President Sean O’Brien who called the Senator a “greedy CEO” and the Senator responded by telling the Union leader to “shut up.” We can expect many more high profile and tension filled hearings as Administration officials head to Capitol Hill in the weeks to come to discuss and defend the President’s budget proposal and as more hearings are held on topics and events of high national profile.

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