Senate Leaders Endorse Fiscal 2025 Budget Process

“I have great faith in (Sen.) Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and our Appropriations Committee. And they’re going to … work very hard,” says Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), shown in September 2023. (Al Drago/Bloomberg News)

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Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer this month touted the chamber’s evaluation of the White House’s budget request for fiscal 2025.

The sentiment from the top member of the upper chamber helped to signal the potential for Congress to finalize its annual government funding process ahead of a September deadline. At issue for Schumer (D-N.Y.) and his senior colleagues is whether the chambers’ busy legislative calendar during a presidential election will impede the annual appropriations process.

“I have great faith in (Sen.) Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and our Appropriations Committee. And they’re going to … work very hard,” Schumer told reporters on Capitol Hill on May 1.

Pointing to committee Chairwoman Murray’s record this year specific to advancing comprehensive funding legislation that averted a partial government shutdownSchumer added: “No one thought they could get it done last time and look at the great job they did.”

Murray also expressed confidence in advancing the appropriations bills. Directing her remarks to U.S. EPA Administrator Michael Regan on May 1, the Appropriations panel leader said, “There’s no question that (fiscal year 2025) is going to be even tougher than last year, but I am absolutely committed to working again, in a bipartisan way, to make sure we address the challenges we face — for defense and nondefense alike.”

The senators’ remarks were followed by a House transportation panel’s meeting with members of that chamber for an opportunity to arrive at bipartisan support for local infrastructure projects.

Republican Reps. Glenn Thompson of Pennsylvania and Jefferson Van Drew of New Jersey, as well as Democratic Rep. Greg Stanton of Arizona, asked the panel to fund aviation and transit projects as well as supply chain corridors. Input from the hearing May 8, referred to in Congress as “Members’ Day,” is designed to guide consideration of appropriations legislation.

The subcommittee’s leadership expressed confidence in the ability to advance comprehensive measures that reflect various priorities for the upcoming fiscal year.

“Member engagement is key to the appropriations process. Our bill is unique, as every district nationwide has housing and transportation assets,” said Rep. Steve Womack (R-Ark.), chairman of the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee.

Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.), added: “This subcommittee funds programs that impact every district in our country. Whether it flies, floats or rolls or provides a family with a safe and stable roof over their heads, the programs in this bill create jobs, keep communities safe and help advance our nation’s economy.”

This spring, Cabinet secretaries and agency administrators have appeared before congressional panels to ask lawmakers to approve certain funding allocations for their departments.

“Roadway fatalities are at last trending downwards, shipping costs are down as supply chains are running more smoothly, and airline cancellations last year were the lowest in a decade,” Secretary Pete Buttigieg told the House subcommittee April 30. “As you all know, we still have much more to do. We’re rebuilding not just from the pandemic but from decades of disinvestment and an enforcement environment that for too long privileged corporations instead of protecting people.”

For the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the White House is asking Congress to approve $964.5 million. For the remainder of the Department of Transportation’s fiscal 2025 budget, the White House is requesting that the Federal Highway Administration receive $62.8 billion, the Federal Transit Administration $16.8 billion, the Federal Railroad Administration $3.2 billion and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration $1.2 billion.

Funding for government agencies expires Sept. 30. Congress must clear bills for the new fiscal year before the deadline to avert a partial shutdown.

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