House to Try Again on Passing an FY 2017 Spending Bill
Congress left for its Memorial Day Recess with the failure of the House to pass the typically non-controversial Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill (H.R. 5055) over disputes on amendments related to LGBT anti-discrimination and the Iran nuclear deal, among others. The President had already issued a veto threat on the measure.
The House will try again this week, by taking on the Legislative Branch Appropriations Act, possibly under a structured rule to limit the number of amendments brought up during floor consideration. This goes against Speaker Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) desire for “regular order” on appropriations bills, which includes an open amendment process, but could be the only method for moving bills forward in the House. The Legislative Branch bill funds the salaries of Members of Congress and their staff and general operations around the Capitol. It is generally considered one of the least controversial appropriations bills because it does not include drastic differences on spending levels or controversial policy provisions. However, one major point of contention between the parties stems from report language that essentially orders the Library of Congress to use the term “illegal alien” to describe undocumented immigrants.
Senate to Begin Consideration of Labor-HHS Appropriations Bills
This week, the Senate Committee on Appropriations will begin consideration of the FY 2017 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act (Labor-HHS). The subcommittee will mark up the legislation on Tuesday, and the full committee will meet on Thursday. Unlike the Legislative Branch Appropriations legislation, this is considered one of the most controversial spending bills with regard to both spending levels and policy provisions.
Zika Conference Ahead
Prior to adjourning for the Memorial Day recess, the House agreed to go to conference with the Senate to work out major differences in their proposals to combat the Zika virus. Republican leaders and appropriators will have to bridge a wide gap between each chamber’s proposal. The $622 million House measure is fully offset and expires at the end of September, while the Senate’s $1.1 billion package has neither offsets nor an expiration date. House Appropriations Labor-HHS Subcommittee Chairman Tom Cole (R-OK) said additional funds would have to come through the regular appropriations process in FY 2017 spending bills for health and foreign aid agencies.
This Week’s Hearings:
- Tuesday, June 7: The Senate Appropriations Committee Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies will hold a markup of the FY 2017 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act.
- Thursday, June 9: The Senate Appropriations Committee will hold a markup of the FY 2017 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act.