September is the last month before the end of the federal government’s fiscal year. The Senate came back into session on September 5th and the House returns on September 12th. Government funding for the next fiscal year must occur by October 1, 2023.
While the Senate Majority Leader and House Speaker have agreed on a short term continuing resolution to meet funding obligations during the debt ceiling negotiations in May, the House Freedom Caucus has threatened to pursue the shutdown unless their demands are met.
Currently, the Senate Appropriations Committee has approved $772.5 billion for non-defense discretionary spending and $858 billion for defense funding with broad bipartisan support. The House has approved bills only along partisan lines. The House bills make deep cuts in non-defense appropriations, particularly with programs related to climate change, the IRS, the Justice Department and the Pentagon. The bills also contain “poison pill” legislative riders pushing policies against LGBTQ programs, racial equity and access to reproductive health care.