On July 20th, 2023, the Senate Appropriations Committee held a full committee markup of Fiscal Year 2023 on Energy and Water Development, State and Foreign Operations, and Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development Appropriations Acts to discuss and make any amendments to the bills. The Chair and Senator Murray gave an opening statement commending bipartisan efforts and announcing an agreement with Vice Chair and Senator Collins(R-ME) on adding $13.7 billion for emergency appropriations, including $8 million for defense and $5.7 for non-defense. Unanimous votes approved the Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act, 2024 and the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act. The “State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2024” was closely unanimous with a 27-2 vote that approved the bill.
In the markup, THUD Subcommittee Chairman Schatz (D-HI) expressed concern for issues within the homeless population, lack of housing options, and improving coordination between housing and health. Ranking Member Hyde-Smith (R- MS) highlighted that $198 million goes towards HUD self-sufficiency programs for the Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development Appropriations Acts, 2024. The Senate bill preserves funding for the Family Unification Program (FUP) vouchers, which support families and young people with child welfare involvement. Additional highlights of the bill include a nationwide increase in the supply of affordable housing to build 10,000 new rental and homebuyer units, the “Yes In My Backyard” grant program that supports goals to increase the supply and affordability of homes and delivers $275 million in new funding for Homeless Assistance Grants. Senator Shaheen (D-NH) proposed to give $25 million to the bilateral family planning account and $2.6 million to the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) to improve global family planning and reduce the number of abortions. The amendment to the State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Act, 2024, went to a vote of 16-13, approving the proposal. Overall, the Senate Appropriations Committee is making massive bipartisan movements to progress policy on Energy and Water Development, State and Foreign Operations, and Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development Appropriation Acts.
By Ellison Olson, Policy Intern