FY24 New England Appropriations Analysis
At the beginning of 2024, The White House and Congressional Leadership announced a deal on topline spending numbers for FY24. Under a two-tiered funding extension that Speaker Johnson spearheaded last year, to avoid a single massive omnibus spending bill, part of government funding was initially slated to run out on January 19th, and the remainder on February 2nd. This week, bipartisan House and Senate leaders spearheaded a stopgap funding bill that further delayed the government shutdown allowing for additional time to finalize the packages, while maintaining the laddered approach. The new funding deadlines have been amended to March 1st for Military Construction-VA, Agriculture-FDA, Transportation-HUD and Energy-Water, and March 8th for the remaining eight. Speaker Johnson is working with a very slim majority, with potentially as little as a 2 vote GOP margin for the March spending bills because of resignations, retirements, and illness and and pending special elections so he will have to pass this with Democratic support. A top priority for Republicans going into this negotiation and election year is the border issue as they want to see it closed and reduce nondiscretionary spending across all departments. Democrats on the other will oppose inclusion of any “poison pill policy changes” such as anti-abortion measures and defunding diversity programs.
Speaker Johnson’s deal is modeled off the $1.59 trillion cap set in the Fiscal Responsibility Act (FRA), the debt limit deal that former Speaker McCarthy struck with the White House last year, plus a side agreement for further budget changes that would allow a plus-up for nondefense dollars for most of 2024. The House GOP had marked up its appropriations bills below that cap while the Senate marked up its versions of the bills above that number. The Freedom Caucus is currently not supportive of the agreement. Additional agreement needs to be reached to avoid a government shutdown.
While Congress is closer to agreement and passing of FY24 this is an appropriate time to review the congressionally directed funding projects that will be included when Congress passes the full FY24 funding bill. Our analysis of FY24 will help inform and provide a guide to what has been successful and what has not as applicants prepare submittals now for FY25 CDS requests.
For reference, the FY23 federal budget was signed into law on December 29, 2022 as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023 omnibus bill. February 7, 2023 President Biden delivered his State of the Union address to Congress. At the end of February 2023, Senate offices released their FY24 Congressionally Directed Funding request submittal process and opened their portals with a March 15th deadline. The House followed suit shortly after with deadlines ranging from submittal deadlines between March 15-17 released his FY24 budget request to Congress. The timeline for CDS applications for FY25 is anticipated for March/April once the FY24 budget has passed and been signed into law. There is a chance of a very quick turnaround by Congress to accept FY25 submittals with member portals opening shortly there after the FY24 budget is done.
Congressionally Directed Spending guidance for each chamber changes annually, and this year’s made for a particularly tricky landscape to navigate for members of the House of Representatives. Traditionally, each House member is limited to 10-15 requests each, a rule which continued through FY24. A prevailing trend observed across New England was that even though each member saw most if not all their projects included in respective Appropriations Bills, they received significantly less than what was requested for each project. A notable difficulty for this CDS process was the absence of Labor, Health and Human Services and Education accounts from eligibility in the House, leading to its highly competitive nature in the Senate.
Between House and Senate members from New England, a total of 2,625 projects were submitted for consideration, reaching over $5.36 billion in funding requests. As a result, 1,144 of those projects advanced through their respective Appropriations bills, sending $1.79 billion in earmarks to the New England region.
To break it down,
- Senate members alone advanced 2,312 projects for consideration for a total of $4,611,527,309. They were awarded 881 of those requests, for a total of $1,553,787,072.
- House members advanced 313 projects for consideration for a total of $752,149,000. They were awarded 263 of those requests for a total of $232,060,000.
During our analysis, we also took a look at how the state of Maryland fared with FY24 Appropriations requests, and we have included their federal delegation here as well. Between the eight Congressmen and two Senators, the state of Maryland put forward 936 projects for FY24 Congressionally Directed Spending, reaching over $1.6B in funding requests. Of those requests, 335 were advanced through their respective bills for over $377 million in earmark awards.
We hope by taking a closer look at how each of the New England state delegation as well as Maryland’s requests faired, it will give a sense to applicant’s ideas of successful projects and areas for funding when considering projects for FY25 CDS.