Let the Winner of the 2024 Election Sign Fiscal Year 2025 Appropriations

By: Dan Kowalski

It is curious that some policymakers are calling for a Continuing Resolution (CR) that will ensure a lame duck session after the 2024 Presidential election. This course would disadvantage Republicans and make it more likely that last year’s side deal to add $75.5 billion in domestic spending would need to be honored to obtain President Biden’s signature.

Setting mid-March 2025 as the expiration date for the first fiscal year (FY) 2025 CR provides Republicans with their best chance of controlling the FY 25 appropriations process. There would be no pressure on Republicans to agree to a bad deal to avoid a Christmastime government shutdown, and Republicans have the very real chance of controlling the Presidency, House, and Senate after the November elections.

Unless Democrats expect to lose the Presidency, they should agree to a CR that expires after the next President takes office because they should expect to be no worse off (and perhaps better off—if they keep the Senate and gain the majority in the House) in terms of which party controls the FY 25 appropriations process.

This is the way that this has been done for the last three presidential elections (see CRS R46574).

In 2020, enacting all 12 appropriations bills during the lame duck ensured Republican control of the product.  Republicans no longer held the Presidency or the Senate after the 2020 election, but they still got to control the process, which included negotiations on COVID-19 relief measures.

Similarly, in 2016, all 11 appropriations bills were enacted after the lame duck ensuring that there would be Republican control of the product.  Republicans retained the House and Senate, and Donald Trump was elected to the Presidency.

In 2012, enactment of appropriations was pushed till after the lame duck in anticipation of a change in White House control.  The status quo prevailed with no advantage to the party of the President (Democrat Barack Obama), but things could have been different if GOP candidate Mitt Romney was elevated to the Presidency.

The situation in 2024 is like that in 2012 and should be handled similarly.  Yet that is not what is being proposed by some in leadership.

Conservatives should ask why that is the case.

One simple explanation is the Uniparty does not want a newly-reelected President Trump to have a hand in the FY 25 spending process.  They know they can get a better deal (that is, more spending) with President Biden signing the bills.

Uniparty Republicans claim that enacting an omnibus in a lame duck will “clear the decks” for the next President, making it easier for the newly elected President to proceed with their agenda.  But they don’t mean that if the agenda for the next President includes getting runaway federal spending under control.

Conservatives should insist on a Continuing Resolution that lasts until mid-March 2025 to provide a reelected Donald Trump with the ability to put an end to wasteful woke Washington spending. 

PDF: Let the Winner of the 2024 Election Sign Fiscal Year 2025 Appropriations


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