Ross, Schakowsky, Matsui, Sewell, Gallego Reiterate Call on Leadership to Advance Appropriations Bills Free of Poison Pill Riders

Ahead of government funding deadline, lawmakers urge leadership to advance clean funding bills free of contentious provisions

February 23, 2024

Today, Representatives Deborah Ross (NC-02), Jan Schakowsky (IL-09), Doris Matsui (CA-07), Terri Sewell (AL-07), and Ruben Gallego (AZ-03) led a letter with 9 high-ranking House Democrats to House and Senate leadership reiterating their call to advance responsible appropriations legislation free of poison pill provisions and adequately fund non-defense discretionary programs at the caps agreed to by Speaker Johnson and Leader Schumer in the revised budget deal.  

The letter follows House Republicans’ repeated efforts to hijack the appropriations process in attempts to enact harmful, extreme policies, including this week when the House Freedom Caucus demanded that House leadership include contentious policy riders in appropriations legislation. Proposed riders would defund Planned Parenthood, block efforts to reduce gun violence, enable discrimination against LGBTQ+ individuals, and more.

In September, Representatives Ross, Schakowsky, Matsui, Sewell, and Gallego led 130+ Democratic colleagues in a similar letter, requesting appropriations legislation free of poison pill provisions and to adequately fund non-defense discretionary programs at the caps agreed to in the bipartisan debt ceiling package.

The lawmakers wrote: “Nearly five months into the new Fiscal Year, controversial policy debates have consistently led us to the brink of a government shutdown, forcing Congress to pass continuing resolutions on three separate occasions. Given the serious challenges facing the nation and with a new set of deadlines looming in March, it is imperative that the House and Senate work cooperatively to complete the appropriations process in a timely manner.

“In addition, we strongly believe Congress must appropriate adequate funding for non-defense discretionary programs. Enacting domestic spending levels below the $773 billion levels agreed by Speaker Johnson and Leader Schumer would threaten the health, safety, security, and economic well-being of our constituents… Again, after a series of missed deadlines and missed opportunities, advancing appropriations legislation free of poison pill provisions represents the only responsible path forward.”

The letter is endorsed by: Action on Smoking and Health, American Bird Conservancy, American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, American Economic Liberties Project, American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, American Federation of Teachers, American Library Association, Americans for Financial Reform, Appliance Standards Awareness Project, Center for Progressive Reform, Children's Defense Fund, Coalition for Sensible Safeguards, Coalition on Human Needs, Consumer Action, Consumer Federation of America, Earthjustice, Economic Policy Institute, Environmental Defense Fund, First Focus on Children, Friends of the Earth, Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, League of Conservation Voters, The National Association for Latino Community Asset Builders, National Employment Law Project, New Jersey Association on Correction, Oceana, Population Action International, Public Citizen, Public Justice Center, The Impact Fund, The Wilderness Society, Voices for Progress, and the National Women’s Law Center.

The letter is signed by Representatives Deborah Ross, Jan Schakowsky, Doris Matsui, Terri Sewell, Ruben Gallego, David Scott, Debbie Dingell, Paul Tonko, Raúl Grijalva, James McGovern, Mike Thompson, Pramila Jayapal, Jerrold Nadler, and Nanette Diaz Barragán.  

Full text of the letter is available here.