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Topline Spending Deal Sets Stage for Showdown Over Poison Pill Riders

WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Speaker Mike Johnson and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer reached an agreement Sunday night on FY24 topline appropriations. The deal tracks the Fiscal Responsibility Act and secured $772.7 billion for non-defense discretionary spending to support programs and policies that all Americans depend on. With 11 days until four bills expire, appropriators must now move to create individual spending bills for Agriculture, Energy and Water, MilCon-VA, and Transportation-HUD, followed closely by the remaining eight bills. 

Importantly, Schumer and Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries made clear that Democrats will not support poison pills policy in the 12 bills to be drafted; however, Johnson said in his caucus letter that Republicans still have space to fight for “important policy provisions.” Lisa Gilbert, executive vice president of Public Citizen, released the following statement:

“With little time to spare, a showdown is being set up over the harmful policies that extreme MAGA Republicans have repeatedly proposed including in the spending bills. The spending bills drafted by House Republicans contained more than 560 poison pill riders – many of them culture war provisions that attack women, immigrants, people of color, and LGBTQ+ Americans. Other proposed policies would harm our environment, double down on the lies behind the January 6th insurrection, fuel gun violence, and more. Toxic measures like these have nothing to do with funding our government and have no place in the annual spending bills. Bills loaded with poison pills cannot and will not be a serious basis for final negotiations.”