January 8, 2024
AGU joins 920 organizations in letter to adopt bipartisan Senate funding framework for NDD FY24 spending
On 4 January, AGU joined 920 organizations asking Congress to adopt the bipartisan Senate funding framework as a starting point for final negotiations in the FY24 appropriations process. Read the full text of the letter below:
Dear Speaker Johnson, Majority Leader Schumer, Minority Leader McConnell, and Minority Leader Jeffries:
The 850 undersigned organizations—representing the full breadth of diverse programs that support all of America, every day—are extremely alarmed by the possibility for very deep cuts to all of these non-defense programs (often referred to as non-defense discretionary appropriations or simply “NDD”) for fiscal year 24 (FY24) if a full-year continuing resolution were to pass. Such cuts would be disastrous for the capacity of the federal government to serve the public, assist those in need, fuel innovation, and address national and global threats. We strongly urge Congressional leadership to instead finish the FY24 appropriations process and adopt the bipartisan Senate funding framework as a starting point for final negotiations.
Vital domestic and international appropriations are a small part of the federal budget—less than one-sixth—yet they fund a wide range of important programs and services that make America run and strengthen our economy. Examples include investments in: scientific and medical research; medical care for veterans; environmental protections; home energy assistance; assistance with housing and child care for low-income families; rural development; K-12 education and skills training; nutrition assistance for young children, families, and older people; financial aid for college students; infrastructure investments in things like transportation choices, sewage treatment, safe drinking water, flood control and navigation improvements; diplomacy, humanitarian aid and development; services for victims of gender-based violence; courts and reentry programs; assistance for small businesses; public safety and other programs for older people; public health; and many more. Republicans and Democrats have historically supported these programs because every state and congressional district in the country benefits from NDD investments. Walking away from these investments would be walking away from the constituents — children, families, seniors, people with disabilities, students, and workers, in rural, suburban and urban communities — Congress has taken an oath to serve.
Enacting the FY24 NDD cap of $704 billion included in the Fiscal Responsibility Act by passing a full-year CR for all 12 spending bills would mean reducing NDD spending by as much as 9 percent according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. The cuts would be enacted over the course of nine months or less instead of a full year, making them even more dramatic and painful. The results of these cuts would be catastrophic for the American people and violate the agreement Congress made with the White House in June to lift the debt ceiling. The full terms sheet of the debt ceiling compromise must be honored in the FY24 process.
Together we call on Congress to finish the FY24 appropriations process adhering to the agreement reached on behalf of the American people, moving funding packages with the necessary funds and without including dangerous poison pill policy riders. We urge Congressional leadership to adopt the bipartisan appropriations approach the Senate pursued in July as an example of the type of across-the-aisle collaboration the American people expect to ensure the programs they rely on are funded in a manner that allows them to provide the services they need. We also ask that you come to an agreement on funding other urgent spending priorities quickly so we can turn our collective attention to FY25.
For full text of the letter and the list of signatories, click here.