Weekly Legislative Update

March 4, 2024

Congressional Outlook

The House and Senate are in session this week, with both chambers returning Tuesday evening. Congress must pass final Fiscal Year (FY) 2024 government funding legislation by Friday, March 8, to avoid a partial federal government shutdown. President Joe Biden will hold his State of the Union address on Thursday evening beginning at 9pm ET and the Biden-Harris Administration is scheduled to release its FY 2025 budget proposal to Congress on Monday, March 11.

On Friday, President Biden signed the Extension of Continuing Appropriations and Other Matters Act, 2024 (P.L. 118-40), into law, averting a partial government shutdown. Those extensions to the Agriculture-Rural Development-Food and Drug Administration, Energy-Water Development, Military Construction-Veterans Affairs, and Transportation-Housing and Urban Development Appropriations bills all face a March 8 deadline. Congress must act on the remaining eight bills by Friday, March 22. On Sunday afternoon, led by Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R-La.) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), House and Senate appropriators released the first “minibus” package with the four bills expiring Friday in addition to the final FY24 Commerce-Justice-Science and Interior-Environment spending bills. The six-bill, $436 billion appropriations package titled the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2024, which is 1,050 pages long, represents the least controversial of the 12 appropriations bills. The first minibus will provide a meager $1.5 billion increase over the enacted FY23 omnibus funding levels. Specifically, the Energy-Water and Transportation-HUD bills would receive small increases, with Agriculture bill funding remaining flat and the other three bills receiving slight reductions. Both parties claimed victories in the negotiations. The first minibus makes up around 26 percent of annual discretionary spending. The FY24 funding breakdowns are as follows:

Agriculture-Rural Development-FDA: $26.2 billion 

Commerce-Justice-Science: $81.8 billion

Energy-Water Development: $58.2 billion

Interior-Environment: $38.9 billion

Military Construction-Veterans Affairs: $346.7 billion

Transportation-Housing and Urban Development: $103 billion

When Congress acts on the minibus package, it will also finalize and approve several thousand Community Project Funding / Congressional Directed Spending requests (i.e.,  earmarks) for FY 2024. The remaining six FY24 spending bills, which expire on March 22, face a more difficult path, including negotiations on numerous policy riders and significant differences regarding congressional earmarks under the Labor-HHS-Education spending bill. The House will vote on the first minibus package under “suspension of the rules” which allows for streamlined consideration of the measure on the House floor. However, passage will require a two-thirds majority (i.e., 288 votes if all 432 current House members are present and voting).

The House will consider fourteen bills under suspension of the rules, including the NTIA Reauthorization Act of 2023 (H.R. 4510), which reauthorizes the National Telecommunications and Information Administration through FY 2025 and updates the mission and functions of the agency; and the Energy Emergency Leadership Act (H.R. 3277), which requires the Energy Department to establish a new assistant secretary position focused on preparing for and responding to energy emergencies such as physical and cyberattacks on grid infrastructure. The House will also vote on the Expanding Access to Capital Act of 2023 (H.R. 2799), which loosens federal securities regulations in an effort to increase access to capital markets, including relaxing Securities and Exchange Commission registration and disclosure requirements for investors, companies, advisers, and brokers and changing the accredited investor definition to enable more individuals to invest in private companies and preempt state laws related to independent contractor status; and the Laken Riley Act (H.R. 7511), which allows states to pursue civil action against the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and other federal agencies for harms allegedly caused by not complying with immigration laws related to admissions and removals. H.R. 7511 also requires DHS to detain migrants who enter the country illegally or who are charged with burglary or shoplifting.

This week, the Senate will vote on the Airport and Airway Extension Act of 2024 (H.R. 7454), which the House passed last Thursday by a vote of 401-19. The upper chamber expects to pass the legislation, making it the third extension to the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) funding authorities from March 8 to Friday, May 10. The extension provides lawmakers two additional months to finish bicameral negotiations on a five-year reauthorization. Three weeks ago, the Senate Commerce Committee passed its version of the five-year FAA reauthorization by voice vote, leaving necessary action on the Senate Floor; the House passed its version back in July 2023. The Senate will also vote this week on the nominations of Ronald Keohane to be Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manpower and Reserve Affairs, Moshe Marvit to be a Member of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission, and Cathy Ann Harris to be Chairman of the Merit Systems Protection Board.

For the remainder of the week, the House will hold several hearings including a Transportation and Infrastructure Committee hearing on “Department of Transportation Discretionary Grants: Stakeholder Perspectives;” an Oversight and Accountability Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic hearing on “Examining the White House’s Role in Pandemic Preparedness and Response;” and a Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water, Wildlife, and Fisheries hearing on the “America’s Wildlife Habitat Conservation Act” (H.R. 7408). The Senate will hold several committee hearings, including a Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee hearing on the “National Transportation Safety Board Investigations Report.”

This Tuesday is “Super Tuesday,” a critical day for the presidential primaries as voters from 16 states and one territory will head to the polls to select their nominee for each party.

Bills and Regulations of Interest to You





H.R. 7456

First Responders Emergency Assistance Act

Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ-3)

Creates a new emergency grant program for law enforcement and first responders in communities experiencing increased migrant arrivals.

H.R. 7458

Made in the U.S.A. Act

Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA-17)

Create a refundable tax credit of up to $2,500 ($5,000 for couples filing jointly) for purchases of products meeting the Federal Trade Commission’s “Made in the USA” standard.

H.R. 7462

Wildfire Insurance Coverage Study Act of 2023

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA-43)

Requires the Government Accountability Office to conduct a study regarding insurance coverage for damages from wildfires.

S. 3806

COLAs Don’t Count Act of 2024

Sen. Peter Welch (D-VT)

Amends the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 to improve the cost of living adjustment exclusion from income under the supplemental nutrition assistance program.

S. 3807

Student Loan Deduction Act of 2024

Sen. Peter Welch (D-VT)

Allows SNAP households to deduct monthly payments made on federal and private student loans from their income when calculating eligibility for SNAP benefits.

H.R. 7470 & S. 3807

Secure U.S. Leadership in Space Act of 2024

Rep. Neal Dunn (R-FL-2) & Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)

Amends the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to treat spaceports like airports for purposes of exempt facility bond rules.

S. 3830

Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) Establishment Act

Sen. Alex Padilla (D-CA)

Establishes a permanent, nationwide water assistance program to help families afford their water bills.

H.R. 7452

Humanitarian Emergency Localized Partnerships (HELP) for Interior Cities Act

Rep. Yadira Caraveo (D-CO-8)

Authorizes additional funds for the Shelter and Services Program of the Federal Emergency Management Agency

H.R. 7453

Solar Use Network (SUN) Act

Rep. Katie Porter (D-CA-47)

spur development of renewable energy infrastructure and electric vehicle charging stations along interstate highways.

S. 4

John R. Lewis Voting Advancement Act

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL)

Amends the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to revise the criteria for determining which States and political subdivisions are subject to section 4 of the Act.



Proposed Regulation

Comment Deadline


Providing Public Access to the Results of Federally Funded Research

The document outlines the Census Bureau's plan for implementing new requirements to manage the public access of scientific data and publications. Public comments received on the Public Access Plan will inform Census Bureau as it develops policies and procedures to implement the Plan.

March 12, 2024


Manufacturing Capital Connector

DOE is seeking comment on a notional Manufacturing Capital Connector (MCC) to support applicants seeking clean energy manufacturing funding opportunities and/or tax credits.

March 15, 2024 (extension)


Initiation of Prioritization Under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA)

EPA seeks comment on prioritization process for five chemical substances as candidates for designation as High-Priority Substances for risk evaluation under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA)

March 18, 2024


The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act: Prevention and Elimination of Digital Discrimination

Establishes a framework to facilitate equal access to broadband internet access service by preventing digital discrimination of access.

March 22, 2024 (effective date)


Inform Development of the FY 2026-2030 NIH Strategic Plan for HIV and HIV-Related Research

Requires the Office of AIDS Research to develop a comprehensive plan, reviewed annually and revised as appropriate, that establishes HIV/AIDS research priorities and serves as a guiding framework for allocation of HIV/AIDS funding across NIH.

April 1, 2024


Standard Flood Insurance Policy, Homeowner Flood Form

Revises the Standard Flood Insurance Policy by adding a new Homeowner Flood Form and five accompanying endorsements. The new Homeowner Flood Form would replace the Dwelling Form as a source of coverage for homeowners of one-to-four family residences.

April 8, 2024

Corps of Engineers

Guidelines for Federal Investments in Water Resources

Provides a framework to govern how the Corps would evaluate proposed water resource investments, including identification of which Corps programs and activities are subject to the Principles, Requirements, and Guidelines.

April 15, 2024


Highway Safety Improvement Program

Amends the regulatory language to incorporate the Safe System Approach, clarify the scope of the HSIP to focus on the safety of all road users on the entire public road network, improve evaluation practices, streamline reporting efforts, and ensure States are collecting Model Inventory of Roadway Elements (MIRE) fundamental data elements.

April 22, 2024


Individual Assistance Program Equity

Amending its regulations governing the Individual Assistance program to increase equity by simplifying processes, removing barriers to entry, and increasing eligibility for certain types of assistance under the program.

July 22, 2024

Week in Review

House votes to extend FAA reauthorization


Biden signs stopgap funding bill, punting shutdown threat


Fiscal 2024 spending finale starts to take shape


Congressional leaders unveil bill to fund government, Johnson and Schumer both claim wins

Mitch McConnell to step down from Republican Senate leadership


Biden Administration Announces New Actions to Boost Housing Supply and Lower Housing Costs