Skip to main content

Capitol to Capitol | March 18, 2024

March 18, 2024

Questions? Please use the email icon at left to contact NCSL’s State-Federal Affairs Division.

NCSL Updates

NCSL Urges Support for the Water Resources Development Act

NCSL and other organizations representing state and local governments urged Congress to pass the Water Resources Development Act of 2024 in an efficient and bipartisan manner. Joining NCSL in a letter to congressional leadership were the National Governor’s Association, the National League of Cities, the National Association of Counties and the United States Conference of Mayors. The letter also asks Congress to ensure continued meaningful intergovernmental collaboration, further assist state and local governments with flood and storm damage mitigation, and appropriate maximum allowable funding to the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund to further the nation’s investment in water infrastructure maintenance and to support the American economy. Read more

NCSL Urges the Administration to Provide Critical Public Health Emergency-Like Flexibilities for Medicaid Programs

NCSL urged Health and Human Service’s Secretary Xavier Becerra and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure to enact emergency flexibilities to ensure continued access to Medicaid services in the wake of the Change Healthcare cyberattack. Impacted states and territories have mobilized to mitigate the effects of the attack, but state budgets will not be able to backfill the gaps caused by the attack for any prolonged length of time. Additional flexibilities are needed so that Medicaid services can continue to operate for the millions of people who rely on them. Read more

NCSL SCOTUS Highlights

Supreme Court Rules Trump Can Stay on Colorado Ballot

Justices say only Congress can remove candidates for federal office from the presidential ballot. Read more

Supreme Court Hears Challenge to the EPA’s ‘Good Neighbor’ Plan

The justices will consider whether the number of participating states affects the ozone-reduction rule’s reasonableness. Read more

Justices Allow Removal of Texas’ Razor Wire on US-Mexico Border

The high court ruled 5-4 in a victory for the administration, which argued federal agents would be unable to enforce U.S. immigration laws. Read more

Congressional Updates

NCSL Summary of Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2024 

President Biden signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2024 into law on March 9,  representing $467.5 billion in government spending for the fiscal year. The measure consists of six of the 12 annual spending bills Agriculture, Commerce-Justice-Science, Energy-Water, Interior-Environment, Military Construction-VA and Transportation-HUD. Congressional leaders are working to unveil text prior to the March 22 deadline with enough time for the 72-hour review rule to still be in place.  Read NCSL's summary.

House Overwhelmingly Approves the Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act.

The legislation would prohibit the distribution and maintenance of applications controlled by foreign adversaries that pose a clear threat to national security and would require the owner of the application to cease operation or divest itself of its U.S.-based operations. Beijing-based ByteDance, which owns the video sharing website TikTok, would need to divest itself of control of the app or be banned from U.S. app stores and hosting services. The House approved the legislation in less than a week and leaders of both parties voted in favor of its passage, despite concerns from First Amendment advocates, social media influencers and digital rights groups that the bill violates constitutional rights to free speech. The president has also signaled he would sign the bill into law should it come to his desk. The bill now moves to the Senate, where immediate action and leadership support is less clear. Read more

Administration Updates

Federal Communications Commission Reauthorizes Intergovernmental Advisory Committee and Announces New Members

The committee provides guidance, expertise and recommendations to the FCC on telecommunications issues affecting local, county, state and tribal governments and comprises elected officials from each of these entities. State representatives on the committee include Matt Pierce, Indiana; Angelo J. Puppolo Jr., Massachusetts; Louis Riggs, Missouri; and Cindy Ryu, Washington. Read more

President Releases FY 2025 Budget Request

President Biden released his budget request for fiscal year 2025 on March 11, even as FY 2024 appropriations are only partially passed nearly six months after their deadline. A budget request released in the last year of a presidential term often aligns with campaign priorities as both parties ramp up political posturing prior to elections. Often, these priorities aren’t fully implemented into policy. A final year budget can also be a casualty of election outcomes if there is a change in party in the administration or majority changes in congressional chambers. With the FY 2025 budget needing passage by Sept. 30, a continuing resolution funding the government past elections into a lame duck Congress is a likely outcome. A multitude of scenarios are possible, including a lame duck Congress hurrying passage of appropriations and enacting a budget before an inauguration, or lawmakers punting everything into a new presidential term and a new Congress.

Regardless of when it is released in a president’s term, the budget request remains an important policy tool as it provides quantitative estimations on numerous programs including education, nutrition benefits, health care, homeland security and defense. These programs represent hundreds of billions of dollars in the $7.3 trillion budget request for FY 2025. Passage of the president’s request is also influenced by the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023, which limits FY 2025 discretionary spending to $1.6 trillion with $895 billion reserved for defense discretionary spending, leaving little room to fund new initiatives.

Highlights of the President’s Budget Issues With State Impact:

  • Helps states expand child care assistance under the Child Care and Development Block Grants.
  • Restores the full child tax credit enacted in the American Rescue Plan,
  • Makes permanent the expanded premium tax credits under the Affordable Care Act that the Inflation Reduction Act extended, and provides Medicaid-like coverage to individuals in states that have not adopted Medicaid expansion,
  • Allows states to extend the existing 12-month continuous eligibility of Medicaid and CHIP for all children to 36 months and allows states to provide continuous eligibility for children from birth to age 6.
  • Allows states to use a portion of their LIHEAP funds to provide water bill assistance to low-income households.
  • Increases funding for the State Opioid Response grant program.
  • Fully funds the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children.
  • Ensures the Affordable Connectivity Program.

Read More:
White House: President’s Budget
FFIS: Jim Martin Tables – Selected Discretionary and Mandatory Program Funding

CFPB Rules on Credit Card Late Fees

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued a final rule cutting from $41 to $8 the late fees credit card issuers can charge to consumers for a missed payment. The rule applies to credit card issuers with more than 1 million open accounts. These issuers may charge fees above $8 if they can demonstrate the higher fee is necessary to cover costs associated with the late payment. Read more

New Environmental Corporate Disclosure Requirements

The Securities and Exchange Commission released a final rule that will have a significant effect on the way investors and corporations approach and consider the climate impacts of business. The rule, titled the Enhancement and Standardization of Climate-Related Disclosures for Investors, will require public companies to detail information about the company’s climate risks, the impacts and costs of severe weather events and, in some cases, a company’s greenhouse gas emissions. This update to American corporate reporting is less stringent than the proposed rule released in March 2022, as it removes one of the most controversial requirements, carbon footprint reporting, known as Scope 3 disclosures. The rule is effective 60 days after its publication in the Federal Register. A ten-state coalition is suing the SEC over this final rule in federal court, citing excessive burdens on corporations. Read the final rule.

  • Contact NCSL

  • For more information on this topic, use this form to reach NCSL staff.