2023 and the first legislative session of the 118th Congress is coming to a close. The House of Representatives has already departed, and the Senate is expected to follow this week, ending a tumultuous and historic year for the U.S. Congress. Jokingly referred to by some as the “(really) do nothing Congress,” this legislature was able to pass key legislation to raise the debt ceiling and avoid a government shutdown but not much else.
The shutdown was only averted due to two continuing resolutions, the last of which separated when agencies would run out of funding. Programs like transportation, veterans’ benefits, the Food and Drug Administration, water, energy, and housing and urban development programs will receive funding until Jan. 19, 2024. Other federal programs including the Department of Treasury and the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) will be funded through Feb. 2, 2024.
Passing the budget is already a big ask, but throw in border security, immigration, and funding for Ukraine and other wars, and it becomes even more difficult. 2024 is also an election year, making large pieces of legislation campaign issues. To date, 35 members of Congress have announced that they aren’t seeking re-election, with some members even leaving at the end of the year, making the slim majority in the House even smaller.
All the must-pass issues combined with an election year could slow everything down, or worse cause a government shutdown which would have a negative impact on small and independent brewers. This makes the work that the Brewers Association (BA) does in Washington, D.C., even more critical. We will continue to advocate for legislation that improves the day-to-date operations of breweries and our supplier partners.
Issues of focus include:
- Passing the 2024 fiscal year budget
- Credit Card Competition Act
- American Innovation and Research and Development Competitiveness Act
- USPS Shipping Equity Act
The BA will advocate on your behalf and keep breweries informed about the legislative issues that could impact them, positively or negatively, in 2024.