Representative Mike Johnson (R-LA) secured the Speaker’s gavel on Wednesday without losing a single GOP vote. With the lower chamber being back in operation following the three-week hiatus, it begs the question: Where do we go from here? Well, have no fear, there are many items that the House has been delinquent in addressing. From approving funding for the federal government to obtaining aid for our foreign partners and delaying the Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) cuts, there are a number of issues for the House to address. Speaker Johnson will have his hands full as Republicans try to make up for lost time.

How do we handle spending?

In a “Dear Colleague” letter sent to House Republicans earlier this week, Johnson urged Republican lawmakers to extend government funding (set to expire on Nov. 17th) with a plan to pass a stop-gap continuing resolution until January 15, or April 15, 2024. This would give the House more time to advance all 12 of its appropriations bills. If Congress fails to clear all the annual appropriation bills by midnight on December 31st, it will trigger an automatic 1% across-the-board funding cut, impacting all programs including Medicare.

The letter laid out a loose timeline for when we can expect to see action on the appropriation bills, including:

  • October – November: Pass all appropriation bills and begin negotiating with the White House and Senate.
  • December: Continue negotiating FY 2024 appropriations and pass the Farm Bill.
  • January – April: Pass a FY 2024 budget resolution.
  • May: Begin considerations for FY 2025 appropriations and not break for the August recess unless all 12 appropriations bills have passed the House.

The first things on his agenda…

Upon accepting his new position, House Speaker Johnson stated that his top priorities are to condemn Hamas for the October 7th terrorist attack on Israel and to support Israel in its war. Additionally, the Speaker highlighted the need for Congressional action to address the Southern border and illegal immigration.

For an outline of key health care issues that need to be reauthorized by November 17th, click here.