The Hustle | Ferox Strategies (2024)

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The Hustle

November 27, 2023

The Hustle

November 27, 2023

Ferox Strategies

Your primer on the latest Beltway news from the bipartisan team at Ferox Strategies! Let’s dive in

Welcome back to
The Hustle
from Ferox Strategies

FEROX FORECAST WINTER WOES LEAD TO SPRING SPENDING

The House and Senate have returned after the Thanksgiving holiday, and they certainly have their work cut out for them for the rest of the year. As the calendar year draws to a close, the halls of Congress will once again be the bustling epicenter of legislative activity where lawmakers grapple with pressing issues, looming deadlines, and a sense of urgency to fulfill their constitutional duties. Amid this orchestrated race, the fate of crucial government funding, appropriations, and high-stakes international aid hangs in the balance.

In late October, Congressman Mike Johnson (R-LA) was elected as the Speaker of the House. Since then, he has faced no shortage of challenges and has laid out his agenda for the coming months, with top priorities including appropriations, extending FAA, Farm Bill programs, and the NDAA. See below for Ferox’s Winter Forecast for an overview of activity anticipated for the remainder of 2023 and into the first couple of months of 2024:

Continuing Resolution

Speaker Mike Johnson’s CR plan to stagger funding deadlines for the multiple appropriations bills was successfully passed in both chambers and signed by President Biden.


This second CR extends funding for Agriculture, Energy and Water, MilCon-VA and Transportation-HUD spending bills until January 19, 2024, and extends the deadline for the other eight bills until February 2, 2024. This is a clean spending bill, meaning that its sole purpose is to extend government funding to early next year and avoid a shutdown before Christmas.
Speaker Johnson had a productive start in his new position, but his “honeymoon period” may be ending.

Despite his initial promise to change Washington’s workings, 93 House Republicans voted against the CR, forcing Johnson to rely on Democratic votes. This outcome upset members of the Freedom Caucus and was reminiscent of the reason why Former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) was ultimately ousted. The last-minute effort to avoid a shutdown punted other legislative deadlines until after Thanksgiving.

Appropriations

The prospect of both chambers soon reaching an agreement on the 12 funding bills for the current fiscal year appears slim. Before leaving for the holiday, the House failed to hold a successful vote on the Commerce-Justice-Science bill, adding that to lawmakers’ to-do lists when they return. While the Senate managed to pass three bills on a bipartisan basis, any House measure reliant on Republican support would face opposition from Senate Democrats and the White House. Now that Speaker Johnson’s unique “laddered” CR has passed, the House has additional time to complete its 12 appropriations bills. Conservatives vehemently oppose an end-of-year omnibus bill that combines multiple appropriations, making it likely that the year will conclude with some bills passed, no omnibus, and an intense fight in January which will put Speaker Johnson in the crossfire between conservatives and the rest of Congress.

End of Year Taxation

Bipartisan efforts are still underway to craft a tax package, while Senate lawmakers are scrutinizing tax strategies used by wealthy individuals. Negotiations on a tax deal, possibly linking business tax breaks with an enhanced child tax credit, are ongoing, with business groups lobbying lawmakers to include their tax provisions in any potential government funding deal. Such a deal isn’t likely until 2024, after even more tax provisions have expired. With hopes dimming that a standalone tax package will pass this year and more tax extenders expiring at the end of 2023, even more pressure is put on January!

NDAA

The annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) is an essential step in securing the Nation, and the administration supports ultimate passage of an NDAA for the 63rd consecutive year. Speaker Johnson has confirmed his desire to pass the NDAA before year’s end, however, the House is still reconciling its version with the Senate’s, with culture wars proving the stickiest point. The House bill contains provisions that Democrats view as harmful to abortion rights, LGBTQ+ rights, and DEI uptake, making the House bill in its current form unpassable. There are points of agreement as negotiations continue, such as quickly preserving the AUKUS Pact, which maintains relations between Australia, the U.K., and the U.S.

International Funding

House Republican support for Ukraine funding is eroding, as seen in the chamber’s recent vote when over half of the Republican Members opposed allocating $300 million to Ukraine. Meanwhile, the House has approved a $14.3 billion aid package for Israel, but Senate opposition to certain provisions added in the bill remains staunch and will be a true test of Speaker Johnson’s leadership ability. Earlier projections for international funding pinpointed passage in mid-November due to strong bipartisan and bicameral support for funding related to Israel, Ukraine, the Indo-Pacific, and border security. However, Speaker Johnson’s election increases the chances of Israel funding passing first and the rest being delayed until Q1 when the appropriations process concludes.

White House Domestic Funding

In late October, the White House made a $56 billion request for supplemental domestic funding. The administration called on Congress to provide additional domestic resources that will “advance critical domestic priorities and address urgent needs,” including extreme weather and disasters, childcare, expanding high-speed internet, protecting security and energy independence, countering the fentanyl crisis, and providing food aid to support emergency needs abroad. We anticipate that a version of the White House’s domestic funding request will be enacted, but with the partisan nature of several of these initiatives, we predict that passage will be delayed along with the appropriations process into January or February.

FEROX IN THE NEWS

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Ferox was honored to win a prestigious Netty Award in recognition of our innovative work on the Diversity Across the Aisle Celebration earlier this year! We received the award in the Experiential Marketing category for our event marketing and innovative campaign celebrating the bipartisan growth in diversity in the U.S. Congress.

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Principal Mark Williams joined Fox 5 DC, Scripps News, and BBC News – Throughout October, Williams joined reporters on Fox 5 DC and Scripps News before and after Former Speaker Kevin McCarthy was voted out of the speakership and throughout the process to elect a new speaker. He shared his insights on the historic ousting of the speaker and next steps for the Republican party. Williams was also featured on BBC News to discuss the Republican presidential primary debate held in California and its impact on the primary election.

CLIENT HIGHLIGHTS

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Ferox and Walmart hosted the Department of Commerce’s Hispanic Heritage Month Reception -Thrilled to join forces with our esteemed client Walmart, Ferox had the privilege of co-sponsoring a reception at the U.S. Department of Commerce honoring Hispanic Heritage Month. The event, with remarks from Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and Under Secretary Don Cravins and appearances by Congressional Hispanic Caucus Chairwoman Rep. Nanette Barragán (D-CA) and Rep. Raul Ruiz (D-CA), paid tribute to the invaluable contributions of Hispanic Americans to our vibrant culture and society!

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The National Retail Federation hosted their Fight Retail Crime Day event – This annual event advocates for effective solutions to combat organized retail crime. The event advocated for policies promoting community safety and addressing the rise in retail crime like the Combatting Organized Retail Crime Act (CORCA), connected with leading policymakers to help drive change and call for action, and brought together the retail community to spread awareness and recognize lawmakers who support retail as Retail Crime Fighters.

SPOTLIGHT

Ferox Principal Cristina Antelo honored at LATINO Magazine’s 2023 Annual Latina Entrepreneur of the Year Awards

This event, hosted by Friend of Ferox LATINO Magazine, honored successful Latina entrepreneurs across the country and featured remarks from Small Business Administrator Isabella Guzman.

Cristina was grateful to be honored and named LATINO Magazine’s Latina Entrepreneur of the Year by Ruben Barrales at Wells Fargo.

Ferox client Intuit honored Chillhouse Founder and CEO Cyndie Ramirez-Fulton, showing their unwavering dedication to empowering small business owners.

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UPCOMING EVENTS

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CHLI Congressional Public Policy Briefing – The Congressional Hispanic Leadership Conference (CHLI), will be hosting a Congressional Public Policy Hill Briefing Series on November 29, 2023 providing a platform for in-depth dialogues on current public policy issues that affect the U.S. Hispanic and Portuguese communities. The briefings feature Members of Congress, congressional staff, government officials, national non-profit leaders, and experts from the private and public sectors.

The series seeks to inform Members of Congress, their staff, national leaders, and media members of issues that impact the Hispanic community in the United States. Register here.

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2nd Annual Brown and Bougie Brunch – Ferox Strategies is proud to sponsor the 2nd Annual Brown and Bougie Brunch! Join us and meet influential leaders, government officials, and prominent Latino journalists on April 27, 2024, at the Mexican Cultural Institute of the Embassy of Mexico in Washington, D.C.

For more information about sponsorship and getting tickets, please contact Lizeth Ortega Lunha at lizeth@solidaritystrategies.com

FEROX WELCOMES

Ferox Strategies is excited to welcome Yasamin Hatefi and Kelvin Bencosme to the team as interns!

Yasamin, a Los Angeles native, is a transfer student at UC Berkeley pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Sociology. She is currently enrolled in the UCDC program for Fall 2023 and is excited to bring her studies and passion for politics and public policy to Ferox.

Kelvin is a student at Florida International University pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Political Science. He is a Global Leader Fellow for the Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute. Kelvin served as an intern for Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL).

To learn more about the Ferox team, please visit our website at www.FeroxStrategies.com

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ABOUT FEROX STRATEGIES

Ferox Strategies is a boutique government relations firm that takes its name from the Latin word for “fierce,” reflecting the firm’s values of determination, dedication, and aggressive advocacy for our clients. Ferox’s bipartisan team of government relations professionals offers clients decades’ worth of policy and advocacy experience paired with the tenacity of a start-up firm. www.FeroxStrategies.com

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