Congress passed the first six Appropriations bills for 2024 last week. On Wednesday, March 6th, 2024, the House voted 339-85 to advance the package to the Senate; because the bills did not go through the Rules Committee, Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) had to rely on significant support from House Democrats to get the 2/3 majority voted needed for passage. After a holdup that heightened the threat of a short-term government shutdown, the Senate passed the bills in a 75-22 vote on Friday night; President Biden signed the package on Saturday.

As reported last week, the spending package encompasses six of the twelve government funding bills that need to be passed and it includes $1.03 billion in additional funds for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children program (WIC) under USDA’s budget, a hard-won win for lawmakers and nutrition advocates alike. Without that increase, states would have had to start waiting lists and would have likely begun turning women and children away for the first time in many decades.

The package of bills also largely protected housing assistance for individuals and families with low incomes, including housing choice voucher programs like the Family Unification Program vouchers.

Now Congress will focus on the final six spending bills, which include some of the more controversial bills such as Defense, Homeland Security, and the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education bill, where most of the human services funding is located. The deadline for Congress to draft and vote on these bills is March 22nd.

The President is expected to release his Administration’s budget for FY 2025 on Monday, March 11th, even though the FY 2024 appropriations bills have not been completed yet. The President’s budget is not binding for Congress and represents the values of the Administration; it is expected that the President will adhere to the deal struck in the debt ceiling agreement in this budget request.

The President’s FY 2024 budget request can be found in CWLA’s 2024 President’s Budget Summary and Budget Chart.