Arkies in the Beltway | Week of March 3, 2024

Welcome to the first "Arkies in the Beltway" for March! I'm Alex Thomas — Washington correspondent at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette — with your look at national politics for the week of March 3, 2024.

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The U.S. Senate and House of Representatives have a plan for passing Congress' annual spending bill, ending this legislative body's cycle of passing stopgap funding measures extending current funding amounts.

Lawmakers will consider the first batch of measures this week with sights on passing the remaining appropriations bills by March 22.

Two of Arkansas' congressional delegates — Sen. John Boozman, R-Ark., and Rep. Steve Womack, R-Ark. — serve on Congress' appropriations committees.

STORY: Arkansas’ congressional delegates find optimism in ongoing spending saga

The Senate and House agriculture committees continue working on the next farm bill.

Boozman, of Rogers, serves as the top Republican on the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee.

He told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that Senate Republicans will release their "vision" of the next legislative package in the coming weeks.

STORY: Boozman: Senate Republicans’ framework for next farm bill in progress

The House Natural Resources Committee will begin consideration of legislation setting aside grants for state-led wildlife habitat conservation efforts.

Rep. Bruce Westerman, R-Ark., and House colleagues announced the America's Wildlife Habitat Conservation Act last Thursday; the measure would dedicate $320 million annually in grant funding for conservation programs.

Westerman is chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee.

STORY: U.S. House committee to start work on Westerman’s conservation bill

Thanks for supporting "Arkies in the Beltway!" Make sure to keep up to date with all Arkansas news at You can also stay informed about what's happening in the nation's capital by following me online; my social media handle across all platforms is @AlexHouseThomas.

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