Senate to ramp up 2025 funding efforts in July

Senate Appropriations Chair Patty Murray (D-Wash.) said the upper chamber is expected to mark up its full-year funding bills for fiscal 2025 in early July, as negotiators have struggled to strike a bipartisan deal on overall spending.

Murray said Tuesday that she plans to hold the first markup “the week we returned from the Fourth of July recess,” adding from the floor that she looks forward to “working with all of my colleagues to make sure we meet this moment.”

The move comes as the House has already ramped up its annual appropriations work for fiscal 2025, with ambitious plans to have all 12 funding bills passed out of committee and across the floor by August recess.

The GOP-backed bills are packed with partisan riders that have prompted attacks from Democrats bashing the measures as “poison pills.” The bills are also written at funding levels that Democrats say undercut a bipartisan deal struck between the White House and Republican leadership last year to raise the debt limit and set new spending limits.

In her remarks from the floor Tuesday, Murray took aim at the agreed-to limits in the Fiscal Responsibility Act (FRA), a key component of that previous debt limit deal, while also emphasizing the importance of parity in increases in funding for defense and nondefense programs.

“The Appropriations Committee has now held nearly 40 hearings on the resources that we will need in fiscal year ’25. We’ve discussed exactly what our nation needs to stay strong, safe and competitive,” she said.

“And there’s a big obvious takeaway from those hearings, the FRA caps for FY ’24 are already causing serious pain and serious challenges, and the caps for FY ’25 are grossly inadequate,” she said.

Murray went on to discuss some of the challenges lawmakers face in crafting this year’s funding bills in line with the levels set under the debt limit deal that cap growth at 1 percent for government funding in fiscal 2025.

“Nondefense funding, except veterans medical care, is down 6 percent from 2010 when you adjust for inflation, and down 14 percent when you adjust for inflation and population growth,” she argued. “That’s not just a number on a page. That’s less support for families. Fewer research grants to keep us on the cutting edge. Fewer officers cracking down on crime and neighborhoods.”

“Now I’m glad so many of my Republican colleagues are in strong agreement, at least when it comes to defense. But every senator calling to boost defense spending alone is seriously missing the point,” she added. “And any senator who thinks I will let us leave nondefense spending behind is seriously misreading the situation.”

Congress currently has until late September — when fiscal 2025 is set to begin — to pass legislation to keep the government open.

Members are already expecting a stopgap will be necessary to avert a shutdown. While there is not yet consensus on the potential duration, lawmakers have been pushing for a stopgap that extends beyond the November races — when control of the White House, House and Senate is up for grabs.

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