House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Speaker of the House Mike Johnson, R-La., are aiming to pass a second minibus package ahead of a Friday deadline.

House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Speaker of the House Mike Johnson, R-La., are aiming to pass a second minibus package ahead of a Friday deadline. Anna Moneymaker / Getty Images

Here are the 9 biggest agency and program reforms in the final FY24 spending package

Lawmakers have until the end of the day Friday to move the second "minibus" of the fiscal year to avoid a shutdown.

Lawmakers on Thursday unveiled the second and final spending package for fiscal 2024, with Congress now facing a tight timeline to pass the measure before funding expires at the end of the day Friday. 

The much-delayed spending bill includes funding for the departments of Defense, Treasury, Homeland Security, Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and State, as well as other agencies, and will be considered on Friday in one “minibus” package. Leadership in both chambers and parties, as well as President Biden, threw their support behind the measure. 

The House is set to shorten its normal rule of providing 72 hours between a bill’s introduction and its vote to avoid a shutdown that would begin this weekend without congressional action. The Senate will then look to move swiftly, though all 100 senators must agree to vote on an expedited timeline. 

Democrats involved in the negotiations cheered that the final package was largely free of the conservative policy riders and drastic cuts to domestic agencies Republicans had initially demanded, while Republicans celebrated the increase to defense spending and the modest cuts some agencies would endure. Congress approved a package of six spending bills earlier this month and the new measure contains the remaining six that lawmakers must pass each year. 

“We said from the very beginning that if we all work together in a reasonable, bipartisan way, we can fund the government responsibly,” Sens. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Susan Collins, R-Maine, who serve as the chair and ranking members of the Senate Appropriations Committee, respectively, said in a joint statement. “There is zero need for a shutdown or chaos—and members of Congress should waste no time in passing these six bills, which will greatly benefit every state in America and reflect important priorities of many senators.”

Congressional leaders previously agreed to a top-line spending level of $1.66 trillion for fiscal 2024. Defense spending is set to jump 3% to $886 billion and non-defense spending will stay essentially flat relative to fiscal 2023 at nearly $773 billion.

Here is a look at some of the bill’s most significant impacts on federal agencies:

Agency Cuts

Republicans boasted that they slashed “wasteful spending” at several agencies across government, noting many agencies are facing cuts relative to their fiscal 2023 allocations. The State Department and foreign operations budget would see an overall discretionary spending reduction of 6%, essentially setting it back to fiscal 2022 levels.

Funding for operations at State and the U.S. Agency for International Development would stay largely flat, however, with spending at the former increasing slightly and the latter seeing a minor dip. Elsewhere in government, the Small Business Administration’s budget would decline by 2%, the Securities and Exchange Commission by 1% and grants to states from the Election Assistance Commission would drop by 27% to $55 million.

Border staffing

The measure would provide $3 billion more for Customs and Border Protection than Biden requested. That includes nearly $500 million to increase Border Patrol staffing to 22,000 agents, a 10% increase from current levels. Border Patrol has faced similar mandates in the past but struggled to fulfill its hiring goals. The measure would also add funding for 150 new CBP officers, which lawmakers said would help stop the flow of illicit and counterfeit items.

The Biden administration had sought new 350 Border Patrol agents in his fiscal 2024 budget proposal, but subsequently requested emergency funding for 1,300 agents and 1,000 CBP officers.  Appropriators tasked CBP to within 90 days deliver a plan and timeframe for meeting the hiring targets. 

Biden had sought an additional $4.7 billion “border contingency fund” to tap into when migrant arrivals spiked, but Congress opted to provide $1.7 billion for “border management requirements.” Lawmakers did not provide the requested surge of funding for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, but did direct the agency to develop a comprehensive “backlog elimination plan” for the pending asylum cases that will include staffing models to support the plan. 

The measure includes funding for suicide prevention, employee assistance and child care subsidies for the U.S. Coast Guard. 


Lawmakers directed the White House to provide a slew of data on federal agency telework. They also requested that each agency detail how they will reduce their physical footprint if they are currently using less than 60% of their office space. The American Federation of Government Employees blasted the proposal, saying it would hurt employee morale and productivity while undermining agency recruitment and retention efforts. 

IRS holding steady

The Internal Revenue Service sustained its fiscal 2023 level funding levels of $12.3 billion, averting the cuts Republicans had sought. Still, IRS leadership has cautioned it would have to dip into Inflation Reduction Act funds more quickly than it planned if it did not see a base funding increase. House Republicans cheered the $20 billion in previously agreed to rescissions to IRA funds, which appropriations lawmakers said would partially defund Biden’s “supercharged army” of IRS agents. 

TSA pay

The measure increases funding for the Transportation Security Administration’s salary expenses by $1.1 billion to fund the pay increase employees at the agency received last year. The funding had been a sticking point in negotiations, but appropriators ultimately funded nearly all of Biden’s request. Senate Democrats boasted the boosted pay has decreased attrition by 50% since its implementation and allows TSA to address staffing challenges while responding to the growing post-pandemic travel volumes. Congress once again rejected the Biden administration’s proposal to eliminate staffing at airport “exit lanes.” 

USPS changes

Lawmakers acknowledged that USPS is in the midst of a significant change to its operational processes that has elicited controversy and bipartisan pushback, but they declined to take any measurable intervention. Instead, it advised postal management to “consider the needs of its employees and customers,” as well as its requirement to provide “prompt and reliable” services. The measure would demand USPS brief Congress on its steps to address increasing mail theft. 

Federal buildings

The Defense Department would receive $658 million more than President Biden requested for upgrading facilities, including for Navy shipyards and to make up for shortfalls that have led to “degrading” conditions. Amid significant controversy over location and whether to fund it at all, the General Services Administration would receive $200 million to build a new FBI headquarters. The facility is currently slated for construction in Greenbelt, Md

Saving international programs 

The President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, or PEPFAR, has long been considered an unmitigated success and is credited with saving 25 million lives, but was set for expiration after Republicans made unverified claims the program was supporting abortion access. Under the funding measure, the program would receive a one-year extension. The State Department was also set to hit its statutory cap of Special Immigration Visas for Afghans who worked for the U.S. government before the withdrawal there in 2021, but the spending agreement would lift the limit by 12,000 visas. 

Early learning 

Appropriators agreed to bump early learning programs within the Health and Human Service Department by $1 billion. The Child Care and Development Block Grant would see its funding grow by 9%, while Head Start would increase by $275 million, or 2%. Over the last three years, the funding for those programs spiked by $4.4 billion.