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Chamber Passes 988 Amendments

House Rules Denies Bids to Further Restrict CPB Funding; Feb. 2 CR Momentum Increases

The House Rules Committee Monday night turned down two Republicans’ bids to further restrict public broadcasting funding as part of the Appropriations Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Subcommittee FY24 funding bill (HR-5894), but allowed consideration of two amendments related to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The House’s ability to pass HR-5894, which deleted advance money for FY 2026 (see 2307210065), remained in doubt Tuesday. Meanwhile, the House was set to vote Tuesday afternoon on a continuing resolution that would extend federal appropriations for the FCC, FTC, NTIA and other Commerce Department agencies through Feb. 2 (HR-6363) at levels enacted in the FY 2023 appropriations omnibus package (see 2212210077).

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The FCC had not yet issued an updated shutdown plan to employees as of Tuesday afternoon amid perceptions that the threat of a government shutdown late Friday night was receding, officials told us. The commission said before the most recent CR passed at the end of September that it would be able to remain open until Oct. 20 if funding lapsed (see 2309280052). The FCC didn’t immediately comment Tuesday.

It appeared likely HR-6363 would clear the two-thirds majority needed to pass it under suspension of the rules because of expected near-uniform support from Democrats, while the level of House GOP support remained in doubt amid criticism from some of the party’s most conservative members. Senate leaders have voiced support for HR-6363, but its prospects for swiftly moving through the chamber remained unclear Tuesday.

HR-5894’s lack of advance FY26 CPB funding and the bids by Reps. Andrew Clyde, R-Ga., and Ronny Jackson, R-Texas, to restrict public broadcasting funding even further didn’t factor into House Rules’ Monday hearing on proposed amendments to the measure. House Rules was, meanwhile, set to decide Tuesday on amendments to the FY24 Commerce, Justice and Science Subcommittee funding bill (HR-5893), which includes cuts to NTIA, other Commerce Department agencies and DOJ Antitrust Division (see 2311090073).

House Appropriations Committee ranking member Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., referred during the Monday Rules hearing to HR-5894, more generally imposing severe cuts to public education funding. Clyde wanted to rescind $525 million for CPB that Congress allocated in advance for FY24 as part of the FY 2022 omnibus appropriations law. Jackson proposed barring funding from the bill that would “directly or indirectly, be made available to or used to support” either NPR or PBS.

The House passed the two 988-related amendments as part of an en bloc package. Rep. Bryan Steil, R-Wis., wants to increase the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s 988 funding by $18 million using money drawn from the National Institutes of Health director’s office. Rep. Marc Molinaro, R-N.Y., sought an amendment that increases and simultaneously decreases SAMHSA’s funding by $10 million to “highlight the importance of bolstering 988 infrastructure and care coordination.” Rep. Katie Porter, D-Calif., unsuccessfully sought to increase the Maternal Mental Health Hotline’s funding by $5 million.