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Congress Returns


TREA Members,

As Congress returns from its annual August recess, we wanted to update you on the full agenda facing Members and their staff in the coming weeks and months.

For both chambers, the number one priority is to find a way to keep the federal government funded beyond October 1st, which is the start of the next fiscal year, 2024. While there are still ongoing negotiations for a continuing resolution (CR), the threat of a government shutdown is still on the table.


During the August recess, a five-page list of authorization issues was released by the White House detailing what a CR would need to include unless other legislation, such as the FY24 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), were to be passed first. For the U.S. Department of Defense, that includes an extension of “certain bonus and special pay authorities.” Within the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), license portability would expire on January 5, 2024, without additional action from Congress. The pilot program on sharing information with veteran-designated family and friends would end, as well as the restoration of GI Bill educational benefits after the closure or disapproval of an educational institution.  

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) have indicated the Senate will start floor consideration of appropriations bills next week. Media reports have indicated the Senate will potentially vote on a three-bill minibus spending package that includes the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs appropriations bill, which passed the House on party lines 219 to 211. As we move forward into the coming weeks, the House and Senate are also expected to conference the FY24 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and hope to have it sent to the President by December 31, 2023. 

As always, TREA will continue to monitor the appropriations packages and advocate for enhancements to the quality of life for enlisted servicemembers, veterans, retirees, and their families. 

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