Upcoming Congressional Fiscal Policy Deadlines

Updated 3/3/2023: The Congressional Budget Office issued new reports this week on the statutory debt limit and the budget outlook, both of which provided additional information on upcoming fiscal deadlines.

The next few years will include several predictable fiscal policy deadlines that will force congressional action. Numerous provisions providing COVID relief expire at the end of the year. Many of the regular non-COVID deadlines could bring additional costs if Congress acts irresponsibly, or they could present an opportunity for Congress to reduce deficits.

We will regularly update this tracker to help reporters, congressional staff, and others interested in fiscal policy keep tabs on major deadlines. We recommend that you bookmark it and come back to check in.

Congress may be compelled to act on each of these dates or enact short-term extensions to move the deadlines to buy time for action. 

Issue Deadline More Information
FCC Spectrum Auction Authority March 9, 2023 Authority for the FCC to grant a license or construction permit through its competitive bidding system expires. The House passed a bill to extend the authority through May 19, but the Senate has not yet acted on it.
Medicaid Assistance for States March 31, 2023/June 30, 2023/September 30, 2023/December 31, 2023 The Medicaid federal medical assistance percentage (FMAP) for states has been temporarily enhanced since the first round of COVID legislation in 2020. A transition plan included in the FY 2023 omnibus continues the 6.2 percentage point bonus for the first quarter of 2023, reduces it to 5 points in the second quarter, reduces it to 2.5 points in the third quarter, and provides a 1.5 point bonus for the fourth quarter.
Debt limit As early as June 2023 The debt ceiling will likely need to be raised or suspended after a $2.5 trillion debt limit increase enacted in December 2021 is exhausted and extraordinary measures are no longer sufficient to avoid default. The government will officially reach the statutory limit on January 19, according to a letter from Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, although extraordinary measures will allow Treasury to continue to pay obligations until at least early June. According to CBO, the exhaustion date could be pushed to sometime between July and September if tax receipts meet or exceed estimates.
Student Loan Executive Order Possible August 2023 In August 2022, the White House announced executive action that provided debt forgiveness for certain borrowers while extending the repayment pause for all borrowers until the end of 2022. The moratorium was again extended to 60 days after either the resolution of student loan litigation or June 30, 2023.

Funding the Government / Appropriations

September 30, 2023

Congress enacted a FY 2023 omnibus in late December that funds the government through the end of the fiscal year. Q&A: Everything You Should Know About Government ShutdownsAppropriations Watch

Agriculture and Nutrition Programs September 30, 2023 The most recent farm bill is scheduled to expire, including crop insurance, nutrition programs such as SNAP, rural development, and agricultural research and conservation programs.

National Flood Insurance Program Authorization Expires

September 30, 2023

An extension was included in the FY 2023 omnibusMore on NFIP

Authorization of TANF & Related Programs Expires

September 30, 2023

Extensions were included in the FY 2023 omnibus.

Medicaid Policies & Extenders September 30, 2023 Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital cuts begin at the start of FY 2024 and continue through FY 2027. The moratorium on payment under the Medicare physician fee schedule for complex services described by Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS) code G2211 expires, in addition to various Medicare extenders.

Medicare Physician Payments

December 31, 2023/December 31, 2024/December 31, 2025

A temporary 3 percent bonus payment for physicians for 2022 was enacted in late 2021. The FY 2023 omnibus modified that bonus structure, providing 2.5% for 2023 and 1.25% in 2024.

In addition, the omnibus provided a one-year extension of the bonus for providers who are part of Alternative Payment Models, through 2025 (reduced to 3.5 percent from 5 percent for that final year). The bill also extends the 50 percent revenue thresholds for qualification for the APM bonuses through 2025.

Medicare Redesign & Drug Costs January 1, 2024 Medicare Part D redesign begins, with some reduced costs in 2024 and seniors' drug costs in Medicare capped at $2,000 in 2025.
Statutory PAYGO December 2024 or January 2025 Statutory pay-as-you-go (PAYGO) rules provide for an across-the-board sequester of non-exempt mandatory spending programs if lawmakers enact net deficit-increasing legislation over the course of the year. A provision in the FY 2023 omnibus shifted the sequestration totals from the 2023 and 2024 scorecards and added them to the 2025 scorecard. Statutory PAYGO requires the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to issue a sequestration order within 15 days of the end of a congressional session.

Longer-Term Deadlines

  • End of FY 2025: Increased and expanded Affordable Care Act health insurance subsidies expire. (The American Rescue Plan temporarily increased premium tax credits for assistance in buying health insurance from state-based marketplaces created by the ACA and expanded eligibility for premium tax credits to individuals with incomes exceeding 400 percent of the federal poverty line, but only through the end of 2022. The Inflation Reduction Act extended those subsidies for three years, through 2025.) 
  • End of calendar year 2025: TCJA individual income tax provisions expire; TCJA paid family leave credit expires; employer-paid student loans income exclusion expires; multiple tax extenders expire such as Empowerment Zones incentives, film and live performances expensing, and the wind energy investment tax credit; health extenders including the Rural Community Hospital Demonstration program; tax exclusion for student debt forgiveness ends.
  • End of FY 2026: Surface transportation programs authorization provided by Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act expires; Export-Import Bank authorization expires
  • End of FY 2027: Maternal, Infant, & Early Childhood Home Visiting expiration, Food & Drug Administration user fee programs expiration
  • FY 2028: Highway Trust Fund insolvency; Medicare Hospital Insurance (Part A) Trust Fund exhaustion (CBO's February 2023 budget outlook estimated insolvency in 2033)
  • FY 2034: Social Security Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) Trust Fund exhaustion (combined OASI and SSDI exhaustion date is 2035; CBO's February 2023 budget outlook estimated insolvency in 2032 and combined OASI and SSDI exhaustion in 2033)
  • 2033: Medicare Hospital Insurance (Part A) Trust Fund exhaustion