Wednesday, September 13, 2023

House Took No Action on HR 4365 – FY 2024 DOD Spending

As I noted this morning, the House was scheduled to take up of HR 4365 [removed from paywall], the Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2024. The House Rules Committee had developed the rule for the consideration of the bill and it should have moved forward with the initial debate on H Res 680, the rule for the consideration of the bill, it was never brought to the floor. The House did complete action on HR 1567 and HR 3324, two of the bills that were debated yesterday under the suspension of the rules process (both passed with strong bipartisan support). The House is not scheduled to take up HR 4365 tomorrow. is reporting that: “Republican leadership scrapped those plans as conservatives pushing for steeper spending cuts lined up against the procedural vote — which more than likely would have tanked the effort.” They also noted that: “It was the second time in two months that leadership was forced to punt a vote on an appropriations bill. In July, top Republicans scrapped plans to vote on the rule for legislation funding agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration.”

When I discussed the problems that I foresaw with spending bills this year, I did not see the wholesale blockading of the consideration of spending bills. If there are not enough votes to pass the rule for the consideration of the bill, the bill will not be considered in the House. The Republican leadership made no effort to even pretend to make the spending bills close to bipartisan, so there will be no Democrats voting for the rule to consider those bills. This means that if just three of the Republican 11 vote against the rule, it is dead.

McCarthy could just surrender to the spending reductions and policy riders demanded by the Republican 11, knowing that the Senate will reject those provisions without even looking at them. Then the conference committee could work out adult language for the spending bill that moderate Democrats could join moderate Republicans in supporting.

September is going to be an interesting month in Washington, but I would be very surprised if anyone is really happy with the state of congress come October 1st.

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