House Republicans are canceling this week’s markup sessions for fiscal 2024 government funding bills, as debt limit talks heat up between the White House and GOP leadership.
“Given recent developments in the negotiations between Speaker McCarthy and the President, and in order to give the Speaker maximum flexibility as talks continue, the Committee will postpone this week’s markups,” House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Kay Granger (R-Texas) said in a statement.
The GOP-led Appropriations Committee had previously been set to meet Tuesday morning to hold markups for the fiscal 2024 military construction, veterans affairs and legislative branch bills.
They also had markups scheduled for the following day on fiscal 2024 homeland security and agriculture, rural development, food and drug administration bills.
Rep. Rosa DeLauro (Conn.), top Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee, criticized the cancellations in a statement Tuesday.
“The four bills we were supposed to markup this week were the ‘easy ones,’ cherry-picked so House Republicans did not have to reveal to the American people their plan to pull teachers out of kids’ classrooms and law enforcement off local streets or make our airports and communities less safe,” she said.
Last month, House Republicans passed spending limits Democrats remain strongly opposed to.
As part of the measure — the Limit, Save, Grow Act of 2023 — Republicans proposed capping federal funding hashed out by lawmakers as part of the annual appropriations process at fiscal 2022 levels, while limiting annual spending growth to one percent.
Republicans have also pushed for the spending caps as part of a larger negotiation with the White House to raise the debt ceiling, which puts a limit on how much the debt the government can owe on to pay the country’s bills, as the threat of a federal default looms.
Democrats have fiercely opposed the proposed caps, arguing the limits could have serious consequences for domestic programs. And it remains unclear how exactly Republicans plan to exact cuts to bring spending below current levels.
Although Democrats have needled the four spending bills introduced by Republicans for reductions in certain areas and partisan proposals, there is suspense around Capitol Hill as to what the House GOP’s proposed roadmap to cut spending will be, with more funding bills coming down the pike in the weeks ahead.