Upcoming Congressional Fiscal Policy Deadlines
Updated 11/17/2023: On Thursday, the President signed a second continuing resolution (CR) for fiscal year 2024 that is "laddered," or consists of two separate expiration dates for two separate sets of appropriations bills. The Senate cleared the measure late Wednesday night, after the House passed the bill on Tuesday night. The first expiration date in the CR, Jan. 19, would apply to the programs covered by the Agriculture, Energy-Water, Military Construction-VA, and Transportation-HUD bills. The second expiration date, Feb. 2, would apply to the programs covered by the Commerce-Justice-Science, Defense, Financial Services-General Government, Homeland Security, Interior-Environment, Labor-HHS-Education, Legislative Branch, and State-Foreign Operations bills. Besides extending appropriations, the measure also includes several policy extensions through Jan. 19 for certain health care programs and a farm bill extension through FY 2024.
The next few years will include several predictable fiscal policy deadlines that will force congressional action. Many of the 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 or policy modifications to move the deadlines to buy time for action.
|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.|
|Child Care Funds Expire||September 30, 2023||Both the CARES Act and the American Rescue Plan provided funds for child care facilities to help them remain accessible and financially stable during the COVID-19 pandemic, both through the child care and development block grant and through child care stabilization grants. Many of the funds expired at the end of FY 2023.|
|FAA Reauthorization||December 31, 2023||The current authorization law for Federal Aviation Administration operational, safety, and infrastructure programs expires under the extension included in the continuing resolution for the first seven weeks of FY 2024. Multi-year reauthorization bills have advanced in the House and Senate. A three-month extension was included in the continuing resolution for the first seven weeks of FY 2024.|
|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 performance year 2023 (or payment year 2025), reduced to 3.5 percent from 5 percent. The bill also extends the 50 percent revenue thresholds for qualification for the APM bonuses through payment year 2025/performance year 2023.
|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.|
|Funding the Government / Appropriations (First set of bills)||January 19, 2024||Congress enacted a second FY 2024 continuing resolution on Nov. 16 that funds Agriculture, Energy-Water, Military Construction-VA, and Transportation-HUD programs through mid-January. Discretionary spending for FY 2024 and FY 2025 will be subject to statutory caps enacted in the Fiscal Responsibility Act. Q&A: Everything You Should Know About Government Shutdowns; Appropriations Watch|
|Medicaid Policies & Health Care Extenders||January 19, 2024||Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital cuts were scheduled begin at the start of FY 2024 and continue through FY 2027. A delay was included in the second FY 2024 continuing resolution through mid-January. Various Medicare and human services extenders also expire.|
|Funding the Government / Appropriations (Second set of bills)||February 2, 2024||Congress enacted a second FY 2024 continuing resolution on Nov. 16 that funds Commerce-Justice-Science, Defense, Financial Services-General Government, Homeland Security, Interior-Environment, Labor-HHS-Education, Legislative Branch, and State-Foreign Operations programs until early February. Discretionary spending for FY 2024 and FY 2025 will be subject to statutory caps enacted in the Fiscal Responsibility Act. Q&A: Everything You Should Know About Government Shutdowns; Appropriations Watch|
|National Flood Insurance Program Authorization Expires||February 2, 2024||An extension was included in the second FY 2024 continuing resolution through early February. More on NFIP|
|Authorization of TANF & Related Programs Expires||February 2, 2024||Extensions were included in the second FY 2024 continuing resolution through early February.|
|Continuing Resolution Penalty||May 1, 2024||The Fiscal Responsibility Act includes a penalty for the use of a continuing resolution (CR) in FY 2024, reducing both defense and nondefense funding levels by 1 percent if appropriations bills are not enacted by January, but it would actually take effect at the beginning of May through a sequestration order to be issued by April 30, 2024. (A similar penalty and timeline also apply for FY 2025.)|
|Additional Saving on a Valuable Education (SAVE) Plan Benefits||July 2024||Under the Biden administration's Saving on a Valuable Education (SAVE) Plan, a new income-driven repayment program launched in summer 2023 in response to the Supreme Court ruling blocking the administration's student loan forgiveness plan, certain policies will be implemented next year. Changes taking effect in July 2024 include a reduction in undergraduate student loan payments by half and forgiveness of remaining balances after 10 years of payments for original principal balances of $12,000 or less, among others. Additional fixes were announced in October 2023.|
|Agriculture and Nutrition Programs||September 30, 2024||The most recent farm bill is expired at the end of FY 2023, including crop insurance, nutrition programs such as SNAP, rural development, and agricultural research and conservation programs. The second FY 2024 continuing resolution included an extension through the end of FY 2024.|
|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.|
- Early-to-mid 2025: Debt limit suspension ends on January 1, 2025; extraordinary measures will likely allow for the government to continue to meet its obligations for a few months after that date.
- End of FY 2025: Statutory discretionary spending caps enacted in the Fiscal Responsibility Act expire. (Targets for spending that are not backed by sequestration remain through FY 2029.)
- End of calendar year 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
- FY 2031: Medicare Hospital Insurance (Part A) Trust Fund exhaustion (CBO's June 2023 long-term budget outlook estimated insolvency in 2035)
- FY 2033: Social Security Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) Trust Fund exhaustion (combined OASI and SSDI exhaustion date is 2034; CBO's June 2023 long-term budget outlook estimated OASI insolvency in 2032, SSDI insolvency in 2052 and combined OASI and SSDI exhaustion in 2033)
Upcoming Supreme Court Cases with Potential Fiscal Effects (2023-2024)
- Charles G. Moore v. United States (Challenges taxation of repatriated earnings and unrealized income.)
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau v. Community Financial Services Association of America (Challenges funding structure for Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which is funded through the Federal Reserve outside of the normal appropriations process.)
Upcoming Executive Branch Rulemaking with Potential Fiscal Effects
- Regulations on reporting of sales and exchanges of digital assets by brokers (Treasury; considering first year of implementation of Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act tax provision in 2026, for sales and exchanges of digital assets in 2025)
- Section 30D New Clean Vehicle Credit (Treasury; considering critical mineral and battery component requirements for the tax credit for purchase of qualifying new clean vehicles created by the IRA)
- Multi-pollutant vehicle emissions standards (EPA; considering new emissions standards for light-duty and medium-duty vehicles starting with model year 2027 and phasing in through 2032 with separate rulemaking for heavy-duty vehicles.)
- Additional student debt relief (Education; considering policy changes for borrowers whose balances are greater than what they originally borrowed, whose loans first entered repayment decades ago, who attended programs that did not provide sufficient financial value, who are eligible for relief but have not applied, and additional borrowers who have experienced financial hardship and need support.)
- Updates to WIC food packages (Agriculture; considering changes to the foods prescribed to participants in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) that would increase the current level of assistance while providing state agencies with more flexibility to tailor the packages.)